We took the train to Santa Fe to attend the Indigenous People’s Day Celebration on Monday, October 8. As the center for Native Americans, Santa Fe designated the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day in 2016. It was the third year that Santa Fe celebrated Native Americans culture on Columbus Day. According to Associated Press, one in ten residents in New Mexico identified themselves as Native Americans.
We arrived at Santa Fe Plaza at about noon and missed the morning ceremony which included morning flute and prayer. The afternoon celebration started with drumming, followed by dancing. Boys and girls from Zuni Pueblo Soaring Eagle Dance Group performed eagle dance and turkey dance. The head of the group, the drummer, told the audiences that animals existed on the Earth before humans, and Zuni people learn from animals. They respect eagles for their sharp sight. The dance showed their respect and passion of animals. Their colorful costumes were beautiful. After their performance, audiences danced hand in hand with Zuni girls to the beat of the drum. That was fun! Then a drummer and two young boys of Hopi tribe from North Arizona presented their cross dance.
It was our first time watching Native Americans dances. And “It is our privilege to watch their ceremony.” As the lady sat next to me said. It was a day to celebrate Native Americans history, culture, and religion. And we were glad to share their joy.