September 21, 2011

Tribes celebrate Arizona's centennial

Arizona centennial has Indian tribes highlighting role in state’s past, future

By Joanne IngramAmerican Indian tribes are taking part in state’s centennial celebrations to share their traditions and highlight their role in Arizona’s history and future. As part of that, 17 of the 22 tribes created a native village at the festival that began here Sept. 16-18 and later will move to Tucson and Phoenix, the other two territorial capitals.

“I think that this is an opportunity for us to tell Arizona residents and visitors that this is who we are as Indian people,” said Rory Majenty, president of the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association and member of the Hualapai Nation.
The Best Fest displays include:• A traditional Hopi house is made from straw and mud, but Best Fest's replica, built in four days, was made from plywood and stucco.

• Gourd singers offer traditional chants accompanied by rattles and other aboriginal instruments.

• The Navajo Nation offers a replica of a hogan, a dwelling traditionally made of logs and earth.

• The Salt River Pima-Maricopa tribes offer a replica of a traditional round house, a dome-shaped, one-room structures made from desert materials.
Comment:  For some anniversaries where Indians were left out, see War of 1812 Bicentennial Without Indians? and Bitter Over Hudson Anniversary.

Below:  "Members of the Hopi tribe perform a traditional dance." (Carie Gladding)

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