Navajo cultural event poster

The Hanover College Art and Design Department, along with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, International Club and Kaleidoscope, will host a weekend of activities surrounding the richness and cultural beauty of the Navajo Nation.

Spanning Friday, Nov. 22, through Sunday, Nov. 24, visitors from the Navajo Nation in northern Arizona will travel to Hanover’s campus to share many cultural traditions connected to their love of nature, land and the universe.

Harrison Yazzie and Fernando Tayah, along with Yazzie’s daughter, Grace, a Hanover junior, will lead many cultural activities throughout the three-day celebration. Activities will include a Navajo constellation discussion, bonfire featuring a drum circle with the Hanover College Drum Line, crafts, games, stories, hike along Hanover’s campus trails and much more.

The International Club will host their annual I-Banquet, Saturday, Nov. 23, at 6 p.m. in the J. Graham Brown Campus Center. The annual event features foods and entertainment from the countries represented by the College’s international students. This event will also include traditional food from the Navajo culture along with songs and prayers from Navajo traditions.

Crafts will be woven throughout the weekend festivities, including beading and loom weaving, music, singing and praying, traditional Navajo games and storytelling.

A welcome walk and light campus breakfast will kick off the event Friday, Nov. 22. The walk will start at 7:30 a.m. at the Lynn Center for Fine Arts.

All of these unique events are open to the community. Details are listed below.

Download schedule of events

Friday, Nov. 22

7:30 a.m. – “Walk with the Sunrise”
Departing from Lynn Center for Fine Arts, Upper Bluff Trail (length = 0.83 miles, 1.33 km, very little slope, easy walking), and ending near the Environmental Education Center (YMCA building near the water tower). Restroom facilities nearby at the Shoebox.

8:15-9 a.m. – “Walk with the Sunrise” ends
Coffee and Horst donuts near Environmental Education Center, plus storytelling and flute music.
Time to get acquainted with the visitors and participants.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Navajo Brunch at the Shoebox
Free to attendees while food lasts. Meal includes coffee, donuts, blue corn mush, Spam with fried potatoes, thick hot tortillas, eggs and corn and onions. All cooked on outdoor grills (if weather permits).

3-5 p.m. – Artisan Crafting
Held in the Center for Fine Arts, this event features beading, weaving on cardboard looms and screen printing Navajo t-shirts in printmaking studio.

6:30 p.m. – Dinner at the Campus Center
Navajo dishes and general college menu fare (including a full, fresh salad bar) in the main dining hall of the Brown Campus Center. Meals can be purchased until 8 p.m. at the dining hall’s welcome counter. ($12/meal - all you can eat.)

8 p.m. – Navajo Constellations and the Night Sky
Meet near the observatory near the soccer and softball fields at the Panther Athletic Complex. Dress for the weather. Hot cider will be available while it lasts. Restroom facilities at the softball field.

9 p.m. – Drum Circle led by Navajo guests, Hanover College Drum Line and Bonfire
Featuring traditional Navajo singing, this unique experience will be held at the Shoebox bonfire area. Please bring your own drum, bucket, pale, wooden spoon, etc., or simply clap and stomp.

Saturday, Nov. 23

10 a.m. – Teepee and Canvas Stitching Demonstrations
Learn about the spiritual significance of a teepee, the sacred artistry that goes into the making, its significance in ceremonies and much more. Held at the Center for Fine Arts.

11 a.m. – Smoke Blessing
Learn about Yazzie’s special four-mountain tobacco and cedar, its meaning, how it differs from smoking typical cigarettes in modern society and its connection to the teepee.

Noon – Lunch Fundraiser
Grilled corn, Navajo tacos on frybread and boxed water. (A $5 donation helps offset the cost of food.)

1:30 p.m. – Horses
This event examines horses and their special relationship to Navajo people.

2-4 p.m. – Navajo Games and Storytelling
This fun-filled event will include the Shoe Game and other games and storytelling by Yazzie and Tayah, as well as songs and stories about horses and their significance in Navajo life.

6-8 p.m. – International Club's I-Banquet
Featuring foods from many cultures, including Navajo mutton stew, this annual event will also include performances by Hanover’s international students, the Yazzies and Tayah, and a special 10-minute movie presentation. Held in the J. Graham Brown Campus Center.

Sunday, Nov. 24

7:30 a.m. – “Walk with the Sunrise-revisited”
Departing from The Point, Crowe Valley Trail (length, .82 miles, 1.32 km total distance, down and back up, moderate slope) and ending back at The Point. Includes coffee and pastries for participants.

10 a.m. – Navajo Church Tradition and Blessing
Yazzie explains history, significance, deities and rituals of the Native American Church. The event, held at the Brown Memorial Chapel, will include a cleansing and blessing for all traveling throughout the holiday season.