The 27th annual rug show of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program took place November 11th-13th, 2016 at the Snow Park Lodge at Deer Valley in Park City, Utah. A year of planning by many dedicated people led up to this event. Preliminary activities started on the 9th with setup for the show and continued on the 10th with programs for school children and other events. This presentation will highlight the activities that took place throughout the show.

Setup for the show took place on Wednesday the 9th. Many volunteers gathered to help hang rugs, arrange displays, and set up the general infrastructure that was necessary for the show. The day started with a prayer and ended with Jean Glaser's delicious sandwiches. Click on any of the smaller images for a larger view.

Programs for school children have been a part of the rug show for most of its duration. Three of these presentations took place on Thursday and Friday with around 500 children having an opportunity to learn about Navajo people and their culture. Children had a chance to shop afterwards and all left with a piece of Navajo fry bread to top off their taste of what life is like for their neighbors to the south.

Many of the classes sponsor Elders and bring them gifts. Children also bring many donations of food and other items to be shared with all of the Elders and weavers who attend the show.

Grinding Corn

Following the school programs on Thursday afternoon a special party was held for the entertainment of the Elders and weavers. This year's theme was a Hawaiian luau. Everyone was dressed in appropriate wear and were lead in a traditional dance by Sam Aloia.

Thursday evening there was a dinner hosted by the Grubsteak Restaurant in Park City. Following a delicious meal there was a period of sharing and honoring. Many dedicated volunteers were honored with rugs that had been donated by the Elders. Doug and Margie Hollinger presented generous gifts to the Elders and weavers.

The show was open to the public from Friday evening through Sunday evening. Here is a collection of pictures taken throughout the show.

Throughout the show there were a number of special events. The first of these was the Friday night opening gala featuring our benefit auction. This is the only part of the show where ANE makes money to help defray the cost of staging the event.

The lead-off event for Saturday morning was the Shi Yazhi Ambassador program. Each year young Navajo girls from families living off the reservation have an opportunity to learn about their culture and compete to represent ANE throughout the year on various occasions. The winners are announced on Saturday morning. This event was preceded by young Navajos performing a variety of traditional songs and dances.

Saturday afternoon's special event was the popular Navajo Idol contest in which participants were given a theme upon which to base a song. Winners were chosen by audience applause. This year's song themes were related to trips to Hawaii which the contestants found very entertaining to sing about.

The Veterans Ceremony on Sunday morning is one of the most popular and moving events of the show. The speaker this year was Herbert Yazzie, retired supreme court justice of the Navajo Nation and a veteran. Special giveaways for all veterans this year were quilts made by a group in Alabama and coffee warmers made by Jeannie Patton in honor of her father, a Bataan Death March survivor.

In the early afternoon on both Saturday and Sunday our weavers present a demonstration of their artistry. People have an opportunity to not only see and hear about the rugs but also can witness rugs in the process of being woven and wool in the process of being prepared for the loom.

The rug show has closed for many years with a Pow Wow organized by Harry James. This is another very popular event and always brings in a big crowd. The Friendship Dance at the end is a fitting conclusion for both the Pow Wow and the show itself.

Created By
John Aldrich

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