On to Gallup

Trip Start Nov 17, 2006
Trip End Nov 25, 2006

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Wednesday, November 22, 2006

From Sedona, we journeyed to Gallup, New Mexico, an interesting trading post town near the Arizona border. Most of the area in northern Arizona is Navajo and Hopi territory. Not far from Sedona, we stopped to check out the "Indian Arts & Crafts" signs at a new casino. To our surprise, not only did they have an arts and crafts fair, but an Indian Pow-Wow, an Indian rodeo and an extreme bike contest.
It seems as if the Indians have figured out how to extract dollars from the American public, with various events and of course, the casino. The casino, managed by Radisson, didn't fare well by us, as we only visited it for restroom facilities.

The pow-wow was magnificent! Dressed in the native costume, Indians came from all over the States In addition to dancing, there were vendors, with fry bread, pinon nuts, sage, Navajo tacos, pottery and jewelry. Under a ramada, made from cottonwood tree leaves to provide shade, the elders were performing spiritual and cultural rituals which were off-limits to photography.

There were perhaps a dozen different groups of drummers...all males, sitting in circles as they drummed and sang their native song. It was very impressive to see hundreds from all over the continent, of all ages, tribes, dressed in their finest regalia, dancing to the beat of drum beats. Click on this icon to view a video of the pow-wow.

After a wonderful detour that lasted all morning, we continued our journey to the northeast to Gallup. Gallup, New Mexico is a railroad town full of pawn shops and trading posts, where Indians have traded their crafts for years. It was probably good that we arrived late in the day, as we only had a couple hours before the shops closed. We stayed at the El Rancho Hotel, a turn of the century hotel that claims to have had many 1940 and 60's movie stars stay there...from Lucille Ball to Kirk Douglas. The lobby alone was a treasure chest of unusual and unique memorialbilia. But of course, looking at old pawned items was interesting and quite educational...however costly!
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