Thunder in the Desert, Tucson, Arizona, Dec. 30, 2011-Jan. 8, 2012
It’s the fourth and final Thunder in the Desert and it’s happening in 2012, the Year of the Prophecies for the Indigenous Peoples. In 1999, Fred Synder said, he was approached by three Elders, one each from the Comanche, Zuni and Mescalero-Apache tribes and asked the question, “Where will you be when the sun rises?”
The Elders asked Synder to plan four years of celebrations for Indigenous peoples beginning in 2000. Because of funding difficulties, the celebrations took place every four years, beginning in 2000. “It’s an opportunity for our Native people to celebrate their contributions to our fabric of life for not just 2,000 years but for over 10,000 years,” said Synder, director-consultant with the National Native American Co-Operative. “It’s an opportunity for our Native people to tell their contributions from our point of view.” The result is a 10-day event which covers six soccer fields, two side-by-side and three end-to-end and brings together Indigenous people from all over the world, north to Alaska and south to Bolivia. Two soccer fields hosts powwows, dancing, war veterans, naming ceremonies; two other soccer fields contain the International Village and teepees, along with a stage to tell their stories; and two remaining soccer fields have a concert area. “Some days, all three areas are going at once,” said Synder. Each day has a theme and the event is open to the public.
For more information, check out www.usaindianinfo.org/
Photo Caption: Luis Salinas, from the Aztecs, performs in tribal dress.
Photo: Nancy Smith-Blackwell