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Navajo Jewelry Adornment
St. Mark's Episcopal Church
Durango, CO
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Navajo Jewelry Adornment
Sunday, October 21, 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 910 E. 3rd Ave. in Durango
Instructor:  Venaya Yazzie
Fee for class: $30

Navajo Jewelry Adornment is a cultural program that allows for a journey into the historical, material and spiritual connections of the Diné; or southwestern Indigenous ways of being and "adorning" themselves. This talk will explore the historical and cultural significance of the myriad of southwest tribal people's adornment practices and symbolism involved. The main goals included in this lecture/program are:
  • Gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for Diné; customs and beliefs
  • Finding purpose in the overall Diné;  rituals of personal adornment
  • Making connections of the Diné;  material culture and the Diné;  philosophy and spirituality
  • Re-establishing the roles of Diné;  women and self-confidence, self-esteem

The second part of the program is a workshop that allows participants to make one jewelry piece using beads and other natural ornaments.

Venaya Yazzie is a Diné and Hopi woman from the San Juan Valley in northwestern New Mexico. Venaya's heritage is rooted in the Huerfano, NM and Chaco Canyon, NM region of the eastern Navajo Nation, yet she also carries her father's Hopi heritage from northern Arizona. As an artist, poet and photographer, Venaya has come to understand, via artistic inspiration, her visceral connection with the land as a living entity.

For her, the act of creating art should ask the artist to push conventional boundaries, engage new dialog and to encompass art with content. Venaya believes that from such awareness comes fulfillment of spiritual freedomin expression, thus bringing about optimism, happiness and balance.

Venaya describes her poetry works as an act of "survivance," as she strives to reclaim the true historical past of Indigenous people, reaffirm Indigenous identity and ancestry and to re-tell the modern stories and experiences of the 21st century Indigenous individual to the global community.

Yazzie recently graduated from the University of New Mexico with a M.A. in Education and Indian Education, she is also an alumnus of Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado and the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is a member of the Northwest New Mexico Arts Council and has been an Artist-In-Residence of the Bisti Writing Project.



St. Mark's Episcopal Church (View)
910 E. 3rd Ave.
Durango, CO 81301
United States

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Education > Workshops

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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