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Do you use Firefox as your search engine? If you do, then you know how they have thumbnails to articles on their home page, some great, some silly, and some you just roll your eyes! About a month ago there was a thumbnail to a Glamour magazine article on the Miss Navajo Nation contest, so, of course, I dropped everything and read it.

You can read the article here:  Glamour Magazine – Inside the Miss Navajo Nation Pageant  

 

 

The Focus is on Navajo Culture, Womanhood, and Leadership.

The article was mesmerizing and focused on the background of the contest, including why it began and when, what the judges look for, and the back stories of the contestants. It’s not like the contests you’re used to seeing on television, these women are seen as not only ambassadors for the tribe, but have the monumental job of bringing a better understanding of their culture across the country and also internationally.

 

Phefelia Nez, Navajo Nation’s First Lady

 

“It represents the beauty, the language, the tradition, and the matrilineal strength of the Navajo Nation,” says Phefelia Nez, Navajo Nation’s first lady. “These girls prepare for this from a very young age, and it takes the family, the community, to get them ready once they have the desire.  
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Miss Navajo Nation contest is a 69 year old tradition. First held in 1952, it was meant to center Navajo pride and honor the Dine’, or Navajo people. It’s a rigorous contest and takes years of study, dedication, and passion to enter and compete. There is an exacting test of Navajo culture, a preparation of three traditional dishes, and they must demonstrate Navajo language fluency. They also must show a clear understanding of traditional everyday life, again crucial as they travel as ambassadors of their nation across 574 federally recognized tribes and also internationally.

On a personal level it allows them to reflect back on everything that it took for them to get to where they are, something that I believe would be beneficial for all of us, how they were raised, and the things they were taught.

For me, the emphasis on their inner style, their belief system and what they value, is paramount. And you see it reflected in their outer style, the beautifully designed clothes, colors, and incredible hand made, custom jewelry, individualized to their taste, which is the reflection of their enthusiasm and pride.

Love that!

Take Aways That We Can Incorporate Into Our Lives

Reading the article got me thinking about a culture with great pride, that holds themselves to a high standard, moves to the future while maintaining a hold on where they came from, and represents their best as individuals. I also got to thinking about ways to reflect that in my own life, to more consciously choose to reflect who I am, and where I’ve come from.

What do you value and represent daily, as the outer reflection of who you are inside? How can we be leaders and ambassadors for whatever we hold as meaningful for us, such as kindness, patience, inclusion, or caring? As women, I believe we have the power to change our world, and the world around us. I believe we can do this best by being those things we would like to see in our world.

Thank you Miss Navajo Nation for the inspiration!

Bye for now!

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