FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - On Aug. 6-7, the 62nd Annual Navajo Festival of Arts and Culture will gather 75 artists from all corners of the Navajo Nation at the Museum. These two days of cultural immersion promise prominent musical performers, a traditional dance troupe, and Heritage Insight talks from the region's experts, all giving visitors a Navajo experience.
"The festival's theme of 'A Walk in Beauty' describes the weekend's experience well," says Museum Director Robert Breunig. "It's a lovely way to spend a high country summer day among the Flagstaff pines, here at the base of the San Francisco Peaks, or in Navajo, Doo'Ko'osliid. This year's entertainment under the big tent is some of the region's best, and there will surely be a monsoon shower or two."
Zonnie Gorman is an expert in the field of Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. She talks about the experiences of her father, Dr. Carl Gorman, who was one of the original Code Talkers.
Theresa Boone Schuler, a Diné educator from Flagstaff, will again lead the ethnobotany walks along the Museum's Rio de Flag Nature Trail. She will discuss the traditional Navajo uses of regional native plants.
Navajo Linguist Larry King is a cultural bright light who walks visitors along a path of history and legend, highlighting the resilience of the Navajo Language and the way Navajos use humor to cope with hardship in their lives. He will also share humorous examples and fun stories about how new words and ideas are introduced into the Diné culture.
Handprints of Our People is a new CD by Native American Music Awards winner and Grammy-nominated flute player/guitarist/singer/songwriter Aaron White (Navajo/Ute) and his newest musical partner, flute player Anthony Wakeman (Pottawatomi/Lakota).
The Pollen Trail Dancers will perform storytelling dances. Group leader Brent Chase accompanies the dance troupe with his humor, insight, and Navajo flute playing.
Singer Radmilla Cody, a former Miss Navajo Nation (1997-1998) and winner of the Best Female Artist at the 2002 Native American Music Awards, will sing Navajo songs from her CD Spirit of a Woman.
Artist demonstrators Lola Cody (weaver), Melissa Cody (weaver), TahNibaa Naat'aanii (weaver) Sally Black (basket maker), and Alice Cling (potter) will be on hand to show how they make their award-winning artwork.
Outside in the courtyard at Creative Corner, kids and creative adults will be able to make take-home crafts.
In addition to booth artists, museum volunteers will present consignment sales, allowing artists who produce only a few items a year a chance to sell their work.
The Navajo Festival is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, during regular museum hours.