In honor of Native American Heritage Month in November, Washington College is welcoming Will Tsosie, Tribal Archaeologist for the Navajo Nation, to campus on Nov. 7, when he will sing the Navajo Blessingway, a series of song-prayers performed to promote health, well-being, harmony, and success.
The public is invited to the event, which begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Underwood Lobby of the Gibson Center for the Arts, where Janice Toya, a Puebloan, will prepare native foods to sample. Tsosie will lead the Blessingway in Hotchkiss Recital Hall starting at 6:30. The event is free, although donations are accepted to support a Navajo charity.
One of the oldest and most important ceremonies for the Navajo people, or Diné (meaning “the people” or “children of the holy people”), the Blessingway tells of Navajo origins and the Navajo people’s place in the universe. “It’s a rare opportunity to learn first-hand about Navajo language and culture and to experience the chants that are central to maintenance of community well-being for the Navajo Nation,” says Aaron Lampman, associate professor of anthropology, who takes students to the Navajo Nation as part of the Southwest Seminar.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, the William James Forum, and the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows.
About Washington College
Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 39 states and territories and 25 nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.