By Lee Allen
“This is a fantastic opportunity to get the Indian country message out to the thousands who will attend the football championship,” says Donovan Hanley (Navajo), current Tourist Association president. The Village, one of the association’s largest collaborative efforts, showcases the sights, sounds and flavors of Native dance, music, arts and crafts, and food—a slice of tribal life.
“We set up an Indian Village during the 1996 and 2008 NFL Super Bowls in Phoenix and drew 20,000 attendees,” said past AAITA President Rory Majenty (Yavapai). Another 8,000 visitors enjoyed the experience during the 2012 Centennial.
Although plans are not yet in place for 2015, much of the color and pageantry of last year’s Centennial should re-appear at the Super Bowl—displays like a replica of a Navajo hogan, a traditional Hopi house, and a Salt River Pima-Maricopa round house; demonstrations of traditional piki bread-making; performances by gourd singers accompanied by aboriginal instruments; dancers performing the Pal’hik Mana (Water Maiden) and the Eagle Dance; artists who will show how pottery is made from the collection of the clay to the finished product—everything is on the table in current discussions.