January 26, 2015Polacca, AZ
Well this week was pretty awesome. The work sadly was pretty slow because everyone was busy prepping, every single village had a dance going on. So we decided to spend all of Saturday employing a cop strategy, making yourself seen. Saturday morning we went to the Deer Dance in Sichomovi on First Mesa it was awesome. The Deer Dance is done to honor the Deer and to have more come. We were privileged to watch it because it was a social dance, not a Kachina Dance.The dance consisted of the drummers and singers naturally, and the dancers were deer. The Dancing Deer had magnificent headdresses, they were made of feathers, Pinion shoots, and had deer antlers to top it all off. The other dancers were eagles and a hunter. The hunter wore an incredible white buckskin outfit, had white moccasin, and a bow and arrows. The eagles were the coolest part of this dance they wore their kilt and a cool headdress but the best part was their arms, they had a full wingspan of eagle feathers along their arms. All the movement is truly beautiful and dancing here is truly more than just footsteps.
Later that Saturday we took charge of the church and presided at a wedding feast. There was about 200 people there and no shortage of food at all. There was all sorts of traditional food there and Elder Tippetts was so excited to try all of it, I have already tried most of it. We stayed there for a couple of hours until another priesthood holder came so we could leave. We headed from there to Kykotsmovi to the Buffalo Dance.
The Buffalo dance was awesome as well. This one only consists of 4 dancers: 2 Buffalo Dancers and 2 women dancers. This dance is a prayer for snow for the crops the coming year, and is also a social dance. The male, the buffalo, were shirtless and wore their kilts with a cowbell on the backside. They had a sash across their shoulder and moccasins on their feet. Their faces were painted black with a white mouth and their headdresses were made of buffalo fur. They had buffalo horns and feathers adorning it as well. The women wore a black veil covering their eyes, and had a traditional dress on as well as their moccasins. Their headdresses were most majestic of all. They had a flower on one side and pointing out horizontally on the other side were feathers. There were eagle, pheasant, and very colorful parrot feathers ranging from orange, blue, green, yellow, black and more. On their backs they wore a Dawa (sun) face a with large eagle feathers surrounding it.
Sunday had a good turnout despite all of the dances. After church we went to another buffalo dance, talked to quite a few people and then had dinner with the Branch President and had a good discussion about the work out here and who were are visiting, we also got a good sized list of people that we can go and see who used to come to church a lot but have not been coming very regularly.
Now this part is kind of gross and I don't mean to offend anyone. 36 is the number of rat tails I counted this week. No not on rats but the hair style. I think that this is the only place in North America where that style is still "cool".
Well now I'm kind of wiped out from writing so if there's anything else I'll tell you next week.
Love, Elder Warnick