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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry and response to Hopis vs. Big Mountain Trespassers:

From the Associated Press, 7/13/01:

Traditional Sundance further frays relationship between tribes
By FOSTER KING, Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX — A traditional Navajo Sundance taking place on the Hopi Reservation is the latest controversy in an ongoing dispute between Navajo and Hopi tribe members.

About 100 Navajos and their supporters have gathered at the Big Mountain community, a tiny enclave of Navajos living on the Hopi Reservation, to participate in the weeklong religious ceremony. The Hopis' reservation is surrounded by the much larger Navajo Reservation.

Hopi officials say that because there's no permit for the dance, Navajos entering the area are trespassing.

Rob's comment
"A traditional Navajo Sundance"...never heard of such a thing. I must've missed the mentions of traditional Navajo sundances in my readings on Navajo traditions.

After the resisters finish their "traditional Navajo sundance," perhaps they'd like to conduct a traditional Navajo Snake Dance, a traditional Navajo potlatch, or a traditional Navajo luau. Since they're so traditional and all.

Needless to say, the stereotype here is attributing the traditional Lakota Sun Dance to the Navajo. It's a subset of the tendency to attribute every Lakota attribute to other tribes. The most common examples are the chiefs, the tipis, and the warriors on horseback.

The Navajo—specifically the Navajo doing the traditional Lakota Sun Dance to gain sympathy—have been practicing this "tradition" for about 10 years. That's about 1/4 as long as they've been watching traditional Navajo I Love Lucy reruns and about 1/80 as long as the Hopi have been doing their traditional dances on the same land.

Related links
Norrell claims Hopi sovereignty is "apartheid attitude"
Looking Horse says Diné foes have a "disease of the mind"
Hopis vs. Big Mountain trespassers

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