Naschitti Elementary School hosts first indigenous cultural exposé

By Chrissy Largo
Special to the Times

NASCHITTI, N.M.

After spending years listening to discussions on governmental development and getting to know other Navajo scholars, Dwight Largie of Naschitti, N.M., knew that now was an opportune time to help organize and develop a unique weeklong Navajo culturally inspired event called the “Naabaahii Bi’ Style Bee Haz’aanii Exposé,” translated to “Warrior/Innovator’s Style Today Exposé.”

Special to the Times | Chrissy Largo During a classroom demonstration on pottery-making and architecture, a Naschitti Elementary student gazes through a miniature wooden-structured building that presenter Brandon Ortiz constructed as a school project at Alburquerque’s University of New Mexico to show the “bones” of a building, to give the students an idea of how a building is constructed and designed.

Special to the Times | Chrissy Largo
During a classroom demonstration on pottery-making and architecture, a Naschitti Elementary student gazes through a miniature wooden-structured building that presenter Brandon Ortiz constructed as a school project at Alburquerque’s University of New Mexico to show the “bones” of a building, to give the students an idea of how a building is constructed and designed.

The event was held Nov.14-18 at Naschitti Elementary School, a public school comprising grades pre-kindergarten to fifth.

Drawing in over 500 people over five days, it was created to promote empowerment and self-identity through Navajo cultural influences ranging from clothing styles (from ancestral to modern day eras) to activities on Navajo cultural teachings such as the role of a naabaahii, or warrior.

“We brought the weeklong event to expose the different eras through time to let not only the students at Naschitti, but students who came from other schools be informed through lived experiences,” said Dr. Dave Goldtooth, principal of Naschitti Elementary School.

The five schools that participated in the event were Naschitti Elementary School, Kirtland Elementary School, Eva B. Stokely Elementary School, Ojo Amarillo Elementary School and Shiprock High School. Each school with the help of parents, staff, and their communities, offered its own unique contribution to the event.

Some students showcased their artwork during an arts and craft display night which consisted of a pictorial and exhibit done by the students and parents based on the school’s curriculum.

Other activities included a Silent Gallery, Artisan Market, Kééshjéé, food infusion demonstration, classroom demonstrations on pottery making, silversmithing, bow and arrow making and fashion show that highlighted the works of Navajo fashion designers Orlando Dugi, Shayne Watson, Cynthia Trujillo and Sharon Jim.

Categories: Education