Luckily, I had flipped through the travel brochures left in my hotel room the night before and earmarked the Cortez Cultural Center. Various Native American groups put on free cultural programs almost every night during the summer.
On this evening, we got to see several Ute performances.
Isn't that the coolest mural ever?
Here's a close-up.
Umm, I was horrible and didn't take notes. I know he explained the significance of the children's costumes, but I can't remember the details.
Here's my YouTube video of the first performance.
The poor kid doesn't look excited to be there.
His costume was pretty awesome though.
And a YouTube video of his performance.
Some action shots too.
And then all the kids performed together.
And then the audience joined in too.
Afterward, we went inside the Cortez Cultural Center to see Samuel F. Sandoval, a Navajo Code Talker and WWII veteran. Sandoval joined the Marines in 1943, as part of the 1st Marine Division, all-Navajo 297th Platoon. He served five combat tours in the South Pacific -- Guadalcanal, Bougainvillea, Peleliu, Guam, and Okinawa.
The Navajo Code Talkers used their native language to transmit encrypted messages during WWII and were instrumental in helping the U.S. win the war. Since Navajo was an unfamiliar language, the Japanese were never able to break the codes. Their skill and accuracy largely contributed to the capture of Iwo Jima. Six Navajo Code Talkers worked non-stop during the first few days of battle to send and receive 800 messages, all without error. However, the Navajo Code Talkers' service wasn't recognized until 1968, when the operation was declassified.
A few artifacts on display at the cultural center.
These beadwork items were purchased by Harold R. Lilly in 1919 and 1920 from Utes near the Uintah and Ouray Ute Indian Reservations, and were donated by his daughter, Barbara Lilly Bolton, to the cultural center.
And with that, it was time to grab dinner. It had been a long, long day.
Posts in this series:
Sadie's of New Mexico - Albuquerque - New Mexico
Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum - Albuquerque - New Mexico
Shiprock - New Mexico
Ted's Taco - Mancos - Colorado
Balcony House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
House of Many Windows - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Hemenway House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Cliff Palace - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Spruce Tree Terrace Cafe - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Spruce Tree House - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Petroglyph Point Trail - Mesa Verde National Park - Colorado
Cortez Cultural Center - Cortez - Colorado
Main Street Brewery & Restaurant - Cortez - Colorado
Absolute Bakery & Cafe - Mancos - Colorado
Four Corners Monument - Shiprock - New Mexico
Pine Country Restaurant - Williams - Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim) - Arizona
Cortez Cultural Center
25 N. Market St.
Cortez, CO 81321
Native American dance and cultural programs occur every Monday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Even though the cultural programs are free, please leave a donation.
1 year ago today, Pasta Pomodoro (Italian Tomato Pasta).
2 years ago today, basil seed drink.