The culmination of a month of activities focused on Native American education occurs at the 53rd annual Hozhoni Days Powwow at Fort Lewis College.
The two-day event concludes Saturday in Whalen Gymnasium with gourd dancing, Grand Entry and the crowning of Ms. Hozhoni.
Saturday eventsGourd Dancing begins at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Grand Entry is set for 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Ms. Hozhoni will be crowned during the evening powwow.
Admission is $6 for the day, and free for children younger than 6 and adults older than 60.
The eventHozhoni Days dates to 1966, when the former Shalako Indian Club turned a small event into a larger celebration and renamed it Hozhoni Days by then-freshman Clyde Benally, according the Fort Lewis College website. Benally, a 1968 FLC graduate, is known as the “Father of Hozhoni Days.”
The event’s Navajo name means “days of beauty.” It is FLC’s longest-standing student-led tradition, the website says, and features Native dancers, singers and performers from around the nation.
Ms. Hozhoni PageantThose vying for the crown are judged on public speaking, traditional food presentations and traditional and modern talent performances. The winner is an ambassador for the year for Wanbli Ota and the Fort Lewis College Native American community.
Wanbli OtaThe Shalako Indian Club’s name changed in 1970s to Wambidiota Club and in 1991 became Wanbli Ota – meaning “many eagles” in the Lakota language, according to the FLC website.
The group also puts on such other events as public presentations, speakers and artists, workshops and cultural performances.
Source: Fort Lewis College powwow website: fortlewis.edu/hozhoni-days-powwow