Tsébii'ndzisgaii Celebration

One-day event offers healthy activities, brings community together

(Times photo - Krista Allen)

The distinguished fifth dancer, colloquially called “clown,” of Joe Tohonnie’s White Mountain Apache Dancers looks into the lens of the camera on June 27 during the 14th annualTsébii’ndzisgaii Community Celebration in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah.

By Krista Allen
Western Agency Bureau

MONUMENT VALLEY, Utah, July 3, 2014

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(Times photos - Krista Allen)

TOP: Martin sisters Miss Red Mesa Junior High Teen Tewakeedah Rain Spirit and Miss Little Red Mesa Dachuneeh Rising Sun sing a number of songs during the 14th annual Tsébii’ndzisgaii Community Celebration on June 27 in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah.

MIDDLE: A woman along with two children take part in the song and dance function on June 27 during the 14th annual Tsébii’ndzisgaii Community Celebration in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah.

BOTTOM: Alvin Saul, 8 rubs mud off his skin after a mud volleyball game during the 14th annualTsébii’ndzisgaii Community Celebration on June 27 in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah.

It was a daylong celebration for all ages on June 27 as the neighboring communities came together for the 14th annual Tsébii’ndzisgaii Community Celebration.

The event, organized by Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, made good use of John Ford’s favorite stage for entertainment, learning, sports, and even a chili cook-off.

“This event takes place here every year,” said Oljato Chapter Vice President Albert Holiday, in Navajo. “People from Douglas Mesa, Narrow Canyon, Kayenta, southern Utah, and from other places across the Navajo Nation generally join us.”

What started out as KTNN’s Drums of Summer has grown into a one-day, annual, filled with gratitude community celebration.

“It brings people together,” said event vice chairman Lee Cly, the building maintenance supervisor for the tribal park. “The Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation is trying to (be of service to) the people that cannot travel to big city, Fourth of July events. So, we bring it here to the locals … who like to celebrate and who like to participate in activities.”

The celebration began early Friday morning with a horseback trail ride, which started at Sage Brush Wash, one mile north of the Narrow Canyon turnoff along U.S. Route 163, and a fun walk on Wildcat Trail, the only maintained, 3.3-mile hiking path in the valley of the rocks that loops around West Mitten Butte.

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