11 October 2010

Swirling color

Our first evening in Page was a treat -- an immersion into Navajo life and celebration. How beautiful and inspiring it was!

We arrived at the Navajo Village Heritage Center -- a small, unassuming complex behind a gas station at the intersection of Coppermine Road and Arizona Route 98 and within sight of the Navajo Generating Station -- just as the sun was setting, a golden time of day, the evening breezes refreshing, even cool.

We were treated to powerful personality (on the left), story (a people's past), dance (theirs and ours), food (Navajo Tacos, consisting of a plate size piece of fry bread, smothered with chili, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and salsa), tradition (demonstrations of rug making, silversmithing), music (Native American flute). The entire evening was about movement, sound, taste, an evening of impression rather than of thought. Once back at the hotel I drifted off to sleep, the evening's experience an internal, visual lullaby.

They danced for us, several lovely, lively stories in movement ...
... and we were encouraged to dance with them. Tal, on the left margin of this photograph (grey jacket, red hat), is the last of our group and the leader is all the way to the right, head of a long, undulating line/circle dance.

I was using my Panasonic camera without flash. While the photographs are grainy (digital noise), I like this cropped version of one of the first dancers performing a shawl dance. An abstract, graceful swirl of color.

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