Saturday, February 1, 2014

Winter Stories - 2014

by John Aldrich

Last Sunday, January 26th, was the night for our annual Winter Stories event. Organized by Rodger Williams, we were treated again to an evening of cultural immersion.

Once more Rodger invited us to imagine ourselves in a hogan listening to the stories that might have been told by our grandparents if we were young Navajo children. This event has become increasingly popular with our local Navajo population, and whole families came to enjoy the evening. My guess was that there were more Navajos than Bilagaanas in the audience this year.

As in past there was plenty of tasty food items to eat since most people brought one of their favorite dishes to share.

When Rodger announced that the program would begin with a prayer song, I wasn't prepared for the singer to be Sally White. It turns out that she has a beautiful voice, and, as best as I could tell, she rendered the song in a very convincing Navajo manner.

The drum group Southern War Pony returned again. Their singing, along with the stirring drumming, is a favorite with the audience.

The lead singer has an extraordinary voice.

Before any of the speakers made their presentations, our new princess, Tiffany Grace Singer, introduced herself.

The first speaker was Steve Todechine who spoke about a variety of cultural topics and described the shoe game in detail. This is an all-night entertainment on the reservation and quite popular in the winter time.

The audience listened raptly to Steve.

Other speakers/singers included Harry James who performed a Yei Bei Chei song.

Eileen Quintana, who always brings us words of great wisdom, spoke about a variety of cultural topics and reminded us, especially, that we are all five-fingered people - in other words, brothers and sisters.

Rose Jakub spoke and sang in her usual fine style.

Interspersed throughout were additional stories and songs from Rodger as well as additional performances by the drum group.

It was a wonderful evening. If you couldn't make it this year, make plans for the last Sunday of January in 2015.

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