The resounding drumbeat of American Indian culture in the Southwest will grow louder January through April 2015 with the return of Native Trails, presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. For the first time in its 13-year history, this series of free lunchtime performances in Scottsdale Civic Center Park will focus on passing the tradition of singing and dancing from one generation to the next. Derrick Suwaima Davis (Hopi/Choctaw), artistic director for Native Trails and seven-time hoop dance world champion and other performers from the Hopi, Diné (Navajo), Hualapai and San Carlos Apache tribes will take the outdoor stage from 12 to 1 p.m. most Thursdays and Saturdays Jan. 8 through April 4, 2015. On Saturdays, youth performers will join the festivities as the dancers demonstrate the Eagle Dance, the Southwest Horse Dance, and inter-tribal pow wow dances. Attendees are encouraged to stay for the finale, the audience-participation Round Dance, which celebrates the connection of all people and cultures. Song and dance are not the only traditions living on in the tribes. Throughout history, American Indians have used crafts and art as forms of cultural expression. Artisans and vendors will sell jewelry, baskets, pottery, instruments and paintings during the festivals. Each Saturday a featured artist will demonstrate his or her craft live before the crowd. This year’s events will also highlight giving to others in need, another cultural belief emphasized in American Indian culture. Each week, Homebase Youth Services Native American Connections, which provides income-based and affordable housing to those in need, will be collecting donations during Native Trails. For more information on Native Trails, visit www.ScottsdaleNativeTrails.com or contact the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau at 480-421-1004 or toll-free at 800-782-1117.
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