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Saturday, November 27, 2010

11/30: NM Film Office Cosponsors Special Evening to Commemorate American Indian Heritage Month

Lisa Strout, Director of the New Mexico Film Office, has announced the NMFO is joining with the New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture to sponsor an evening of activities to commemorate American Indian Heritage Month. The events will take place from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM on Tuesday, November 30, at the museum, which is located at 710 Camino Lejo, on Museum Hill in Santa Fe.  Click for driving directions to the museum.

“This will be an entertaining, educational, and memorable evening and a wonderful celebration of Native American culture,” said Lisa Strout.

The evening includes a tour of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture’s exhibit Here, Now, and Always, and includes a screening of the film Miss Navajo from acclaimed Navajo filmmaker Billy Luther.  

About the Exhibition: MIAC’s exhibition Here, Now and Always tells the story of the Southwest’s oldest communities. From elder to younger, each generation has taught the next: we are here now, and we will be here always. Here, Now, and Always is a major exhibition based on eight years of collaboration among Native American elders, artists, scholars, teachers, writers and museum professionals. The voices of fifty Native Americans guide visitors through the Southwest's indigenous communities and their challenging landscapes. More than 1,300 artifacts from the Museum's collections are displayed and accompanied by poetry, story, song and scholarly discussion. For more information, see:  www.facebook.com/IndianArtsCulture.

About the Film: From World of Wonder Productions and filmmaker Billy Luther, whose own mother was crowned Miss Navajo 1966, the film reveals the inner beauty of the young women who compete in this celebration of womanhood. Not only must contestants exhibit poise and grace as those in typical pageants, they must also answer tough questions in Navajo and demonstrate proficiency in skills essential to daily tribal life: fry-bread making, rug weaving, and sheep butchering.

The film follows the path of twenty-one year-old Crystal Frazier, a not-so-fluent Navajo speaker and self-professed introvert, as she undertakes the challenges of the pageant. It is through Crystal's quiet perseverance that we see the strength and power of Navajo womanhood revealed. No matter who takes the crown, this is a journey that will change her life.

Interspersed with pageant activities are interviews with former Miss Navajos, whose cheerful recollections of past pageants break the tension the current contestants are undergoing.  Their memories provide a glimpse into the varying roles Miss Navajo is called upon to perform: role model, teacher, advisor and Goodwill Ambassador to the community and the world at large. For more than fifty years, Miss Navajo Nation has celebrated women and their traditional values, language and inner beauty. 

As winners of the pageant, women are challenged to take on greater responsibility, becoming community leaders fluent in the Navajo language and knowledgeable about their culture and history. The film reveals the importance of cultural preservation, the role of women in continuing dying traditions and the surprising role that a beauty pageant can play.  For more information, see http://www.missnavajomovie.com.

November 27, 2010 at 11:26 AM in Arts, Events, Film, Native Americans, Santa Fe | Permalink

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