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SUNDAY

SEPT. 28, 2014


THE DAILY TIMES
FARMINGTON, NM
www.daily-times.com
By Noel Lyn Smith
The Daily Times
FARMINGTON Two
new events will greet fair
attendees at this years
Northern Navajo Nation
Fair in Shiprock.
The new additions are an
opening ceremony and a
cookout competition.
The fair is celebrating its
103rd year and will take
place from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5
at the Northern Navajo
Nation Fairgrounds.
The opening ceremony
starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday
at the rodeo arena.
This is the first time
ever and thats why we want
to put on a good show,
entertainment coordinator
Frank Smith said.
Scheduled to perform
are Joe Tohonnie Jr. and
the Apache Crown
Dancers, Guardians of the
Grand Canyon, Zuni Buf-
falo Dancers, Hawaiian
dancers, bird dancers, and
hoop and fancy dancers.
It was something to get
the community (that they
could) enjoy, fair coordina-
tor Robert Felson Jr. said.
The opening ceremony
is cosponsored by the fair
committee and the
Shiprock Agency office of
the Navajo Area Agency
on Aging, which is using
the event to talk about
ending elder abuse.
Another entertainment
outlet is the Battle of the
Bands, which starts at noon
on Oct. 4inside the Indian
Market tent.
Earlier this month, six
bands representing different
music genres already had
registered for the competi-
tion, Smith said.
Smith also is coordinat-
ing the cook-off contest,
which will have categories
for Best Stew, Best Roast
Mutton, Best BBQ and Best
Dessert.
Ther e wi l l be f our
judges and contestants
are encouraged to share
samples with attendees.
Bring it on. You might
be the best, Smith said.
The cook-off starts at 10
a.m. on Oct. 3 inside the
Indian Market tent.
Of course the fair will
offer its familiar events and
celebrate its roots in the sur-
rounding agricultural com-
munity.
Exhibit Hall coordina-
tor Michelle C. Ben said
the facility plays an impor-
tant role in the fair because
it houses the items that
show the creative side of
the community and honors
the farming tradition. Dis-
played inside will be the
produce grown by local
farmers during the sum-
mer.
It is something from the
heart, Ben said. The fun
part is being able to interact
with the community.
The parade will start at 8
a.m. on Oct. 4. Floats will
line up starting at 5 a.m.,
travel west on U.S. High-
way 64 and then south on
U.S. Highway 491.
New Mexico state Sen.
John Pinto, D-McKinley
and San Juan, is this years
grand marshal, according to
a press release from the fair
office.
Ive come to know him
as a very humble, friendly
man and he is a true leader
that certainly has enriched
the communities with his
ideas and bringing opportu-
nities we seek, Felson said
in the press release.
Seven young ladies are
competing for the title of
Miss Northern Navajo Teen
and three women are vying
for the Miss Northern Nava-
jo Nation title.
Both pageants kick off
with the Navajo food com-
petition at 9 a.m. on Sept. 30
at the fairgrounds.
The winners will be
named on Oct. 3 during the
coronation ceremony, which
starts at 4 p.m. at the Phil L.
Thomas Performing Arts
Center.
New events will greet fair attendees
The Daily Times file photo
Children dance in the Northern Navajo Nation Fair contest powwow on Oct. 5, 2013, in Shiprock.
103
rd
Annual
Northern Navajo Nation Fair
October 2-5, 2014
Admission: Adults $10/Child-Senior $5
Thursday Free until 4PM Sunday Family Day $5
September 26 - October 5
YeiBiChei Commences
(YeiBiChei Grounds)
September 30 Tuesday
9 AM Miss Northern & Northern
Navajo Teen Pageants
Navajo Food Competition(s)
NNN Fairgrounds
October 1 Wednesday
9 AM Miss Northern Navajo Teen
Contemporary Skill/Talent
Competition (Phil Thomas
P.A.C.)
1 PM Miss Northern Navajo
Contemporary Skill/Talent
Competition
(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
5 PM Special Pageant Presentation
(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
October 2 Thursday
Traditional Trail Ride
(Commences)
8 AM Fairgrounds Open
8 AM Open Junior Rodeo
(Rodeo Arena)
8 AM Indoor Exhibit Judging
(4-H Exhibit)
9 AM Miss Northern Navajo Teen
Traditional/Talent Competition
(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
9 AM 3 PM Youth Day Activities
(Song & Dance Arena)
9 AM 3 PM Elder Fest (Pow Wow Arena)
10 AM Indian Market Opens
10 AM City of Fun Carnival (Kids Day)
(All rides 1 ticket - $20 All Day
Wristband)
1 PM Miss Northern Navajo Trad.
Skill/Talent Competition
(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
1 PM Small Animal Judging
(4-H Exhibit)
4 PM 6 PM Free BBQ
(City Market Parking Lot)
Sponsored by APS, BHP, NTUA,
& PNM)
6 PM Night Performance
(Rodeo Arena)
Presented by NAAA & NNNF
6 PM 10 PM Gospel Night
(Indian Market Tent)
11 PM Carnival Closes
October 3 Friday
Traditional Trail Ride
(On-going)
8 AM Fairgrounds Open
8:30 AM Livestock Show (4-H Exhibit)
10 AM Indian Market Opens
10 AM 2 PM Cook-Off Various Food
(Indian Market Tent)
Auto, Motorcycle & Bike Show
(Shiprock Senior Center)
1 PM Song and Dance
(Open Registration)
1 PM Open Masters Rodeo
(Rodeo Arena)
1 PM Traditional Trail Ride Arrival
(YeiBiChei Grounds)
3 PM 4-H / FFA Jr. Livestock Sale
(4-H Exhibit)
3 PM Pow Wow (Open Registration)
3 PM 7 PM Open Mic/ Karaoke
(Indian Market Tent)
4 PM Miss Northern & Miss Northern
Navajo Coronation
(Phil Thomas P.A.C.)
5 PM Song & Dance
(Warm-up Dancing)
5 PM City of Fun Carnival Opens
5 PM Gourd Dancing
(Pow Wow Arena)
5 PM Fashion Review & Public
Speaking Presentations
(4-H Exhibit)
7 PM Pow Wow (Grand Entry)
7 PM Northern Gateway
Open Bull-Riding
(Rodeo Arena)
9 PM 1 AM Country Western Dance
J.T. Band (Indian Market Tent)
11:30 PM Carnival Closes
October 4 Saturday
5 AM Parade Line-up (Fleet Mgmt.)
8 AM Parade
(East Hwy 64- West 491)
10 AM Fairgrounds Open
10 AM Song and Dance
(Open Registration)
10 AM Pow Wow (Open Registration)
10 AM Indian Market Open
10:30 AM City of Fun Carnival Opens
12 PM 6 PM Battle of the Bands
(Indian Market Tent)
12 PM Pow Wow (Grand Entry)
1 PM Song & Dance (Grand Entry)
1 PM Open Show Rodeo
(Rodeo Arena)
2 PM Demonstrations and Talent
Show Presentations
(4-H Exhibit)
5 PM 4-H/FFA Cook-Out
5 PM Final Gourd Dance Session
(Pow Wow Arena)
6 PM Wild Horse Race (Rodeo Arena)
6 PM - 9 PM Family Show Various Acts
(Indian Market Tent)
7 PM Pow Wow (Grand Entry)
7 PM Open Show Rodeo
(Rodeo Arena)
9 PM 1 AM Dance/Show - Various Bands
(Indian Market Tent)
12 AM Carnival Closes
October 5 Sunday
8 AM Fairgrounds Open
8:45 AM Awards Presentation
(4-H Exhibit)
9 AM Song & Dance (Roll Call)
10 AM Song & Dance (Grand Entry)
10 AM 6 PM Indian Market Open
10 AM Cultural Performances
(Indian Market Tent)
12 PM 5 PM Gourd Dance Session
(Pow Wow Arena)
12 PM City of Fun Carnival Opens
12 PM Wild Horse Race (Rodeo Arena)
1 PM Open Show Rodeo
1 PM Parade Winner Ceremony
(Indian Market Tent)
11 PM Carnival Closes
October 2-5, 2014
nnnfair.com
We Invite You
Yaateeh! We welcome you to the 103rd Annual Northern Navajo Nation
Fair (NNNF) in Shiprock, New Mexico. Join us for a weekend celebration
with our friends, communities and visitors from across the Four Corners.
The Northern Navajo Nation Fair and Navajo Area Agency on Aging present
the Opening Ceremonies and Night Performance on Thursday, October 2 at
the NNNF Rodeo Grounds.
The Night Performance is a newly added attraction
in recognition to the traditional singing, dancing
and praying for all of our spectators, visitors for
a safe enjoyable weekend with us here at the
Northern Navajo Nation Fair. Doors open at 5 PM
with performances beginning at 6 PM. Come and
witness the rst ever night performance at the
NNNF.
The NNNF Entertainment events held at the
Indian Market tent will host the Cook Off Contest
that will feature four categories in Best BBQ Best
Roast Mutton, Best Stew and Best Dessert. For
more information, for the Northern Navajo Nation
Fair visit our website at nnnfair.com. We hope to
see you at the Fair!
Schedule of Events
Northen Navajo Nation Fair
P.O. Box 2120, Shiprock, New Mexico, 87420 (505) 368-4305 www.nnnfair.com
NORTHERN NAVAJO
NATION FAIR
Opening ceremony will showcase a variety of dancers

2
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com

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Sunday, September 28, 2014
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NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
The Daily Times Farmington, New Mexico
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
By James Fenton
The Daily Times
SHIPROCK A
Kayenta, Ariz., artists
painting of YeiBiChei
healing dancers in a corn
field was selected as the
feature poster for this
year s 103rd Northern
Navajo Nation Fair.
Painted with acrylics on
an 18-by-24 inch canvas,
the work is called October
Harvest. It was completed
just three weeks ago by
David K. John.
The artist insists the
dancers in the painting
arent literal depictions of
actual healing dancers
who are integral elements
of the Navajo healing cere-
mony but rather sugges-
tions of the dancers as well
as the harvest gods they
personify.
I used corn in the corn
field in the painting to rep-
resent the harvest, the first
dance being in October at
the change of seasons,
John said. When I do a
painting of these dancers, I
think about how they
would look. Theyre pow-
erful. Theyre healers. They
represent life. Theres a
person behind the mask.
But they are also more like
spirits, deities.
John said he discovered
painting in a class during
his sophomore year in high
school. His early work
earned him a scholarship to
art school in Richfield,
Utah. He later earned a
bachelors degree in fine art
from Southern Utah Uni-
versity, in Cedar City. His
art work can be seen in gal-
leries throughout the Four
Corners.
Johns paintings have
also been featured on
posters for fairs and events
in more than three states,
including the Santa Fe Indi-
an Market and West Valley
Native American Art Festi-
val in Litchfield Park, Ariz.
He said he completes six to
10 paintings each month.
John, 51, said he was
approached by members of
the fairs board of directors
while showing some of his
Arizona artists work chosen for fair poster
Courtesy of David K. John
An original painting by David K. John, called October Harvest, was selected as the featured art for the Northern Navajo Nation Fair.
see ARTIST on page 4

4
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA, BE SURE TO STOP BY
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new work at the Santa Fe
Indian Market last month.
John, who is known
primarily for his depic-
tions of YeiBiChei
dancers, said they became
a way to connect to his
father and grandfather,
who were medicine men.
The image is one John
has experienced and
explored since childhood.
I grew up around my
great grandpa, who was a
great medicine man, and
my grandpa they were
YeiBiChei dancers. So to
remember them, I paint
them, John said. I saw a
lot of great ceremonies
and Ive lived it. In my
paintings, theyre my own
interpretations of the
dance and the dancers.
Overall, John said he
sees his art as a way to
connect with his paternal
ancestors as much as it is
to preserve Navajo culture.
The Yei images I start-
ed after my grandpa
passed and its like
remembering them, kind
of a therapy for me, John
said. I guess its for them
(that I) pass it on. The
paintings I create are for
the Dine people and (I)
want to pass (them) on to
the next generations.
John submitted the work
that features three dancers
two males and a female
in a cornfield under a
multicolored dawn.
(In the painting) its
early morning, a kind of
mystical time under the
father sun, he said. I
wanted to get that feeling
in it, the beauty way. I use
these colors to represent
beauty. The dancers bring
good blessings and harmo-
ny.
The choice to include a
female dancer into his
painting is a critical detail
in a work he hopes will
elicit a response from peo-
ple.
Past posters for the
fair were mainly male
only, but for mine, I want-
ed both, to represent the
male and female figures
together, equally, John
said. The figure on the
left in red who has a
mouthpiece is male and
the dancer beside him is
female. The one in the
back is almost fading into
the cornfield. Theyre
dancers in a cornfield,
gathering corn. In a Nava-
jo basket there are four
(ears of) corn that repre-
sent the four directions.
John, who uses a mid-
dle initial K with his
name so he is not confused
with Navajo painter David
Johns, said his work, like
the fair itself, is an effort
to keep traditions alive.
For me its like thera-
py and a blessing to be
able to paint these images
because these ceremonies
are being lost, he said.
The language is kind of
dying and the ceremony,
its the same thing. So I
paint because even if the
culture is being lost, the
images will be here.
Robert Felson Jr., fair
director, said Johns work
perfectly encapsulates the
themes of this years fair.
Its a celebration along
the lines of our tradition,
our culture and our heart,
Felson said of the fair.
Were known for harvest-
ing our food, being farm-
ers, and the fact that our
area is provided for by the
river, so its a celebration
of our harvest. The paint-
ing shows that.
While John said a col-
lector has purchased
October Harvest, Felson
said the poster will accom-
pany a 2014-2015 calendar
and be sold at the fair
board office or throughout
the fairgrounds for $5
each.
(Continued from page 3)
Artist
Courtesy of David K. John
David K. John is the featured artist in this year's Northern Navajo Nation Fair.
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Sunday, September 28, 2014
5
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
The Daily Times Farmington, New Mexico
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
SHIPROCK CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC, LTD.
Have a safe and prosperous Northern Navajo Nation Fair
Come in today for
any of the following
health concerns:
Chiropractic Physician - Dr. Bill Van Buskirk, D.C
Offce Hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11:00am to 6:00pm
Phone: (505) 368-4568 Fax: (505) 368-4502
Located at the TseBitAi Shopping Center.
Dr. Bill Van Buskirk D.C. and staff have been caring for community for 25 years. We are now seeing grandchildren
of some of our original patients. We feel blessed to be a part of the Shiprock Community and plan to
continue caring for the health concerns of this community for years to come. -VVB
Back Pain Headaches Any Joint Pain
Sports Injuries Fatigue Stress
Anxiety and Much More.
We offer full service Chiropractic care
and Massage Therapy.
We accept most insurance.

6
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
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Before you head out for the food, games and all
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By Molly Maxwell
Special to The Daily Times
SHIPROCK Theres
always chile and fry bread at
the Northern Navajo Nation
Fair.
But Frank Smith, the
fairs first-time entertain-
ment coordinator, wanted to
add culinary variety to this
years fair.
Thats why he helped
organize the Indian Market
Tent Cook-Off, which will
take place on the second day
of the fair, Oct. 3, in the
Indian Market tent. Contes-
tants who enter the free
event will be judged on
preparing a meal in the stew,
roast mutton, barbecue and
dessert categories.
The categories are based
on traditional Navajo foods,
but Smith encourages con-
testants to be creative and
try new things. Contestants
can enter one category or all
four.
Food must be cooked on-
site, and electrical outlets
will be available. Contes-
tants may have up to two
helpers and should bring all
of their own supplies.
Judging will begin at
about 1:30 or 2 p.m. Oct. 3,
Smith said. He suggested
contestants begin cooking at
about 10 a.m., but one man
has already requested to
begin his barbecue the night
before, which Smith
approved. To enter the cook-
off, pick up an application at
the fair office.
One of the categories in
the cook-off centers on mut-
ton, meat from an adult
sheep that is a staple of
Navajo cuisine.
The Scott family has
been runni ng a mut t on
stand near the intersection
of U.S. Highways 491 and
64 in Shiprock for many
years. At lunchtime on
Sept. 22, two lines of cars
formed outside the stand,
and Rosi t a Scot t s
not epad qui ckl y fi l l ed
with orders.
The menu offers grilled
mutton on fry bread or
grilled bread, with the
option of green chile. And
that simple menu seems to
fulfill the needs of hungry
customers.
Lorenda Benali, who
was working the stand with
Scott for the day, said the
customer base is comprised
of both locals and passersby.
Some who stop have never
eaten mutton.
Some people buy one
(sandwich), stand there and
eat, and then buy more,
Scott said.
Local Shiprock residents
just keep coming back, she
said, because they crave
their mutton just ask
them!
Those in line confirmed
that.
I was tired of McDon-
alds dollar menu, said Rita
Tallbrother, of Shiprock, as
she waited in her car for her
made-to-order mutton with
fry bread sandwich. I had
some cash, and I was crav-
ing mutton.
While the Scotts grill the
shredded meat before serv-
ing it, mutton is traditionally
made into a stew with veg-
etables such as celery, corn
and onions.
The Scotts said they will
probably be too busy with
the stand to enter the fairs
cook-off, but they seem to
be getting enough recogni-
tion for their mutton cook-
ing already.
A panel of four judges
will evaluate entries during
the cook-off, but the public
can also sample creations.
The first-place winners from
each category win gas grills,
and prizes for second and
third places will also be
awarded.
While the grills offer a
nice incentive, Smith, the
events organizer, said he
hopes most people enter
more for the fun of it.
You can compete, but it
is more for people to enjoy,
he said.
Molly Maxwell/Special to The Daily Times
Mutton, pictured on Sept. 22 with grilled bread and green chile at a mutton stand in Shiprock, is a staple of traditional Navajo cuisine. It is one of the four categories
for the Indian Market Tent Cook-Off at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair.
Fair introduces Indian Market Tent Cook-Off
Contestants will be judged on entries in stew, roast mutton, barbecue and dessert categories

Sunday, September 28, 2014
7
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
The Daily Times Farmington, New Mexico
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com

8
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
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The Daily Times file photo
Terilynn Bellison places fry bread dough into a skillet during the Miss Northern Navajo fry bread contest at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair on Oct. 4, 2012.

Sunday, September 28, 2014
9
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
The Daily Times Farmington, New Mexico
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
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Daily Times file photo
Shiprock is seen through a carnival ride during Youth Day at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair on Oct. 6, 2011.

10
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
Subscribe to The Daily Times online at www.daily-times.com
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By James Fenton
The Daily Times
SHIPROCK Eigh-
teen-year-old Teddi Good-
luck will be attending the
103rd Northern Navajo
Nation Fair in Shiprock
not to see the parade or
take in the rodeo, but to be
healed.
Goodluck, who is from
Pine Springs, Ariz., will
spend nine nights in a row
in a ceremonial hogan at
the sacred Yei Bi Chei
grounds as part of a
YeiBiChei, or Nightway,
healing ceremony tradi-
tionally held in the fall and
winter during or around
harvest time.
The teen was chosen by
the fair board as the
patient for this ceremony,
which is led by a medicine
man, or Hataalii, and his
helpers who chant over the
patient inside the hogan.
The nighttime ceremony
coincides with the fair and
is the first healing ceremo-
ny of the season.
The ceremony started
Sept. 26 and culminates at
dawn on the fairs final
day. After sundown on Fri-
day and Saturday night
during the fair, groups of
masked dancers in colorful
traditional costumes per-
sonifying gods, also called
Yei, dance, shake rattles
and chant sacred songs
before the hogan.
The first four nights of
the YeiBiChei centers
around the creation of a
sand painting, with the
final five nights devoted to
singing and chanting, all in
the interest of healing the
patient.
Goodluck, a freshman
at The University of Col-
orado in Colorado Springs,
has a cleft palate that her
family hopes the medicine
man will help heal.
The medicine man cho-
sen to lead the ceremony
this year is Philip Begay of
Ganado, Ariz.
Goodlucks grandmoth-
er, Ida Sahmie, said the
YeiBiChei ceremony is a
tradition many of her fam-
ily have experienced.
Teddi was born with a
hole in her mouth that was
repaired when she was a
baby but it didnt fully
close, so we took her to a
medicine man who said
that she needed a
YeiBiChei, Sahmie said
by phone from her home
in Pine Springs earlier this
month. When I was little,
my grandparents did a lot
of that. There was always
a YeiBiChei and every-
body was a part of that.
Its the biggest ceremony,
a very sacred ceremony.
Like her mother and
grandmother before her,
Sahmie took part as a
patient at a YeiBiChei in
the 1990s and said her
granddaughters participa-
tion this week is a continu-
ation of the family tradi-
tion.
My grandma taught us
about the YeiBiChei,
she said. Its a holy thing
to us and our family.
Since then, Sahmie said
she has incorporated
YeiBiChei dancers into
her pottery, etching them
into the clay in a Hopi
style.
But the ceremony is an
ordeal that takes a lot of
energy, scheduling and
money.
Were getting ready
for it. Were getting very
busy right now, she said.
We are gathering together
all the supplies and food
and wood and dishes and
things that well need
before we go to Shiprock.
Sahmie said her family
is collecting and paying
for enough sheep to give
Yei BiChei healing ceremony provides
glimpse into Navajo cultural past
Courtesy of Ida Sahmie
Pottery featuring the Yei dancers, which was made by Ida Sahmie,
is pictured in this courtesy photo. The dancers take part in the mul-
ti-night Yei Bi Chei healing ceremony.
Courtesy of Ida Sahmie
Teddi Goodluck, of Pine Springs, Ariz., will be the patient during the
Yei Bi Chei ceremony at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair.
Courtesy of Ida Sahmie
Clockwise from left: Geronimo and Andrea Larios and their daugter,
Teddi Goodluck, pose for a photo. The 18-year-old from Pine
Springs, Ariz., will be the patient during the Yei Bi Chei ceremony
at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair.

Sunday, September 28, 2014
11
NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
The Daily Times Farmington, New Mexico
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Providing services in San Juan, McKinley, Rio Arriba,
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OFFERING THE FOLLOWING SERVICES:
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participates to
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www.southwesterncompanies.com
Farmington, NM
(505) 326-6024 or (866) 326-6024
Cuba, NM
(575) 286-2726
Shiprock, NM
(505) 368-3897
(Located at City Market Shopping Center)
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(928) 537-7601
OFFICE LOCATION:
Across from Northern
Navajo Medical Center
as gifts to the approximate-
ly 18 dancing groups that
will participate throughout
the nine nights. But that is
only part of the total cost
for the ceremony, which
she said will ultimately be
around $10,000.
The medicine mans
fee is about $2,750 and the
items used consist of seven
Navajo Wedding baskets
which average in price
about $100 to $300 apiece,
plus fabric materials ... and
other blankets, robes and
shawls, which cost like
$150 to $230 each, she
said. Some family have
lambs or sheep and will
donate them for us. We also
will bring food and feed the
medicine man and his
helpers. We prepare the
food and we feed people.
Well be camping there and
be there the whole ceremo-
ny.
Avery Denny, 57, is a
Hataalii chanter and singer
who teaches at the Center
for Din Studies at Din
College in Tsaile, Ariz. He
said that unlike some of the
more conventional aspects
of the fair, YeiBiChei is
not a spectacle or sideshow.
(Originally) the
YeiBiChei was not a part
of that Shiprock Fair. The
ceremony was brought in ...
about 70 years ago, Denny
said. What the ceremony
focuses on is the harvest
time and to be thankful and
to renew ourselves using
the fruit of the harvest
the corn, the watermelon,
the squash to make that
food as medicine, for heal-
ing. Then, of course, there
is a patient who will be
healed with that food.
Denny said he has
served as a healer at
YeiBiChei ceremonies for
most of his life.
I was born into it,
raised with it, got my medi-
cine and have been doing it
for over 40 years, Denny
said. My father and grand-
father were practitioners. It
was right there in my
home. My uncles too
they were my teachers and
masters.
Most of the ceremony is
private.
Its constantly going,
from dawn all day, take a
little break in the afternoon
and then at sundown it
picks up again, he said.
To a Navajo, they know
why they go to these the
sand painting, night
singing, basket tapping, the
dancing part of it ... the
regalia at the closing of the
final night. Thats what the
people witness and what
the people see. Its beyond
a performance. People need
to see it like that instead of
like a show.
Therere some things
that need to be kept secret
and sacred and thats what
makes it an authentic tradi-
tional ceremony.
Old traditional cere-
monies like the YeiBiChei
are in danger of disappear-
ing forever, Denny said.
The ancient (composi-
tion) of the ceremony,
were losing that. Even the
symbolic interpretations
that are used in these tradi-
tions are being lost, he
said. We need to pay
attention to what is divine
in there, what is sacred in
there, because we are los-
ing our ancient ceremonial
ways and it is going really
fast.
Courtesy of Ida Sahmie
Ida Sahmie, the grandmother of Teddi Goodluck, has created pottery featuring
Yei Bi Chei dancers ever since she was a patient in her own healing ceremony
in the 1990s.

2014 SHIPROCK FAIR
OPENING CEREMONIES PRESENTS
PRAYING &
DANCING TO
STOP ELDER ABUSE
Aztec Dancers,
http://openingceremonies.srnaaa.org
SPONSORED BY NAAA, SHIPROCK AGENCY
& 103RD ANNUAL
NORTHERN NAVAJO FAIR
*Admission to the Fairgrounds will be charged after 4:00pm. If You Enter before 4:00pm, Admission is free.
12
Sunday, September 28, 2014 NORTHERN NAVAJO NATION FAIR
Farmington, New Mexico The Daily Times
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