November 14, 2007

Miss Navajos butcher sheep

The beauty is in the butchering

Miss Navajo Nation pageant contestants judged on tribal culture know-how, including ability to slaughter a sheepOn the nation's largest Indian reservation where tradition reigns, contestants are required to speak their native language, make fry bread and butcher an animal that represents life to the Navajos—sheep.

"The pageant really gets people's interest because they say, 'Oh my gosh, a pageant where you butcher sheep.' That's really the grabber," said Billy Luther, a documentary filmmaker. "But I think people walk away learning the Navajo way of life and how much the Navajo people respect women."
The meaning of "beauty":Beauty is internal, Luther says. What Navajos perceive as beautiful might not be beautiful to others, he said.

"It's having the knowledge of your culture; it's having respect for your mothers and grandmothers; it's the language, fluency. As we say, that's harmony; that's what we strive for," said Luther, 32, who is Navajo, Laguna and Hopi.

1 comment:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella is unsure, but sheep butchering kinda makes that part of the Miss Navajo competition worlds beyond a bathing suit segment. Oh, wow, the blood itself...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'