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Festival celebrates Native American Recognition Days

November 02, 2010

To celebrate Native American Recognition Days, Arizona State University’s Deer Valley Rock Art Center will host its sixth annual family-fun festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Nov. 20.

Festival highlights will include:

• Navajo Storytelling by Anita Ryan (Diné)

• Music and Hoop Dance by Yellow Bird Apache Dancers:

The dance ensemble specializes in presentations that celebrate the unique spirit of the Southwest, and is the only Native American dance group to be honored with the Governors' "Culture Keepers of Arizona Award.”

Yellow Bird dancers have been invited twice to perform for former First Lady Laura Bush, and were selected to entertain the President of China at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Yellow Bird performed at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York and in Washington D.C. provided entertainment for our peace-keeping forces and allies in Kosovo, in November 2009.

• Lecture: “Hopi Cultural Affiliation and Perspectives on Rock Art and Hopi Archaeology” by Lyle Balenquah (Hopi):

Lyle Balenquah is a member of the Greasewood clan from the Village of Bacavi (Reed Springs) on Third Mesa. He has earned degrees (BA 1999, MA 2002) in cultural anthropology and Southwestern archaeology from Northern Arizona University. For more than 10 years he has worked throughout Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah as an archaeologist documenting ancestral Hopi settlements and their lifeways.

Balenquah currently works as an independent consultant but his experience includes time with the National Park Service, the Hopi Tribe, and the Museum of Northern Arizona.

• Native American artists’ demonstrations and art sale, all day:

Many artists will be at the museum giving demonstrations and selling their art, which includes Items jewelry, pottery, baskets, dolls, pillows, blankets, masks, clothing, gourds, instruments and beadwork.

• Small Oasis Cart will be vending delicious fry bread, all day

• Hike the petroglyph trail:

Ask museum educators your questions about the rock art and archaeology at the Hedgpeth Hills petroglyph site. The Deer Valley Rock Art Center has the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the Phoenix Valley. Visitors hike a 1/4-mile trail to view more than1,500 petroglyphs made between 500 and 7,000 years ago. The museum aims to promote preservation, connection and respect for the site and is a destination for families to learn about archaeology in their own backyard.

• Children’s activity stations:

Kids can bead a bracelet and go on a scavenger hunt.

Deer Valley Rock Art Center is located at 3711 W. Deer Valley Road, two blocks west of 35th Avenue. For more information call the center at (623) 582-8007 or go to