The Grand Canyon was home to many Native people long before becoming a National Park. Heritage Days at North Rim Grand Canyon is a celebration of cultural diversity with many Nations who have history with the canyon country. All of this is organized mostly by Ranger Jake who has put this event together for many seasons. The rest of us assist where needed helping set up, break down, relieve people from the demonstration tables, and introduce the various dancers, musicians, and presenters. I’ve been posting about this function for years so take a look at some of the past performers and photographs.
In the parking lot, Hopi artist and teacher Ramson Lomatewama set up his portable glass blowing. This year I bought a piece of his work. I’ve wanted a corn maiden for a long time and this one seriously spoke to me. Corn is life for the Hopi. The dark glass on the head of this figure are the butterfly swirls indicating a young woman is eligible for marriage. The purple swirls of color signify the the sunrise and birth.
Ramson’s wife Jessica demonstrated basket weaving and his son Justin carved Kachinas in the demonstration area.
Other displays include Navajo Henry Nez’s jewelry, Sammie Largo’s paintings, Paiute Everett Pikyavit’s baskets, Hualapai Richard Powskey’s cradle boards and baskets, Navajo Milton Tso’s flutes, and Debra Onsae shares Hopi foods.
Seems the highlight of every year is International hoop dancer Hopi Derrick Suwaima-Davis and his three sons, the littlest of whom steals the show. He asks that we don’t post photos of his children.
Navajo flute maker Milton Tso not only plays a magical flute but tells stories and tells jokes.
Thursday night’s presentation by Ramson Lomatewama about Hopi culture was as interesting as always. And Debra Onsae presented Miss Hopi at the campfire program. Friday night Richard Powskey and friends presented Hualapai dances and songs at the campfire and included the crowd with several circle dances. And later Grammy-nominated recording artist Navajo/Ute Aaron White played the flute for the evening program.
This is the 23rd year for Heritage Days at North Rim Grand Canyon held the second Thursday and Friday of August. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend all the events and the evening performances were just to dark to take photos. So plan ahead to attend next year.
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