Event Announcement: Sheep is Life (fwd)

This announcement is a bit long.  Sorry, I could not decide how to edit it.

Contact information for the event:

Individuals and Scholarship Requests:  For brochures and to register, contact
Recursos de Santa Fe, 505-982-9301, ext. 6; fax 505-989-8608; e-mail
Send this form with payment to:

Sheep is Life, Recursos de Santa Fe, 826 Camino del Monte Rey, A3, Santa Fe,
NM  87505; or fax with credit card information to 505-989-8608.

To request a brochure, call 800-732-6881.

Andy Clark, SAN Coordinator

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 1997 15:11:36 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sznjmsn@aol.com
To: san@nal.usda.gov
Subject: Sheep is Life

Please disseminate this information to those on your network who are working
with primitive genotype sheep, range management, small breeds, economic
development, cultural relevance, small-scale sheep and wool producing
operations, and so forth. 
    Thank you.  Suzanne Jamison, sznjmsn@aol.com, 505-536-9339
Sheep is Life
A Celebration of Navajo-Churro Shepherds and Weavers

Fact Sheet

Dates: Thursday-Sunday, June 19-22, 1997
Location: San Juan College, Farmington , New Mexico
Contact: Recursos de Santa Fe, 505-982-9301, ext. 6.
  800-732-6881 to request a brochure.  

 Sheep is Life: A Celebration of Navajo-Churro Shepherds and Weavers focuses
on the importance of sheep raising to traditional Navajo and Spanish
lifeways; the role of Churro sheep in the evolution of Navajo weaving; the
special qualities of Navajo-Churro wool, meat and survival rates; and
economic development for small scale sheep and wool producers.  Dine bi
iina', Ganados del Valle, the Navajo Sheep Project, Tierra Wools, and
Recursos de Santa Fe are collaborating to create a public celebration June
19-22, 1997 at San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, and other
locations in the Navajo Nation.  
 The event includes the seminar; hands-on activities for all ages at the
sheep camp; arts and crafts sales; plus workshops on processing and weaving
with Navajo-Churro wool, economic development and marketing, and range and
livestock management.  Animal husbandry workshops take place Wednesday and
Thursday at a ranch site to be announced.  
 Shepherds and weavers are featured presenters and artists, sharing the love
of sheep, wool, weaving and land in a program including representatives from
Dine bi iina', Ganados del Valle, Tierra Wools, as well as shepherds and folk
artists from other cultures whose traditions are founded on sheep raising.
 Sheep is Life is an annual celebration.  

 For the Navajo, sheep represent the Good Life.  They are sacred animals
given to the Dine by The Holy People.  Over 50 percent of Navajos are
involved in sheep raising and other agricultural pursuits, as compared to
only two percent of the total U.S. population.  Whereas the Navajos at one
time exclusively raised the Churro breed, today it represents a small
fraction of total sheep stock. 
 Navajo acquisition of the Spanish Churro in the mid-1600s inspired a radical
change from hunting and gathering to pastoralism and farming.  Navajo culture
and sheep have intertwined, co-evolving the distinctive Navajo-Churro breed
and the famous Navajo weaving.  
 U.S. government actions such as imprisonment of the Navajos, slaughter of
flocks and appropriation of summer grazing lands, lack of understanding of
the Churro genotype's special qualities, and changes in commercial demand for
wool, have led to the almost total eradication of the Churro, both on the
Navajo Nation and in Spanish villages.  This loss negatively impacts
traditional life style, health and self-sufficiency in these cultures.
 Navajo women are particularly affected because they own most of the herds
and weaving is primarily a woman's occupation.  
 In 1977, the Navajo Sheep Project began a breeding program to restore the
Navajo-Churro genotype to its natural habitat by providing rams and ewes to
both Navajo and Spanish herders and weavers.  The recent reintroduction of
Navajo-Churro sheep opens many opportunities for communities to reclaim
pastoral and folk art traditions.  This celebration seeks to strengthen
community, educate the public, bring together ranchers and pastoralists, and
provide economic support for Navajo-Churro producers and weavers.  
 This scenario experienced by Navajo shepherds and weavers is one that has
occurred, with variations, throughout the world with indigenous cultures
whose livelihoods are based on primitive genotypes of sheep.  The Navajo
experience is a metaphor for the struggle to maintain spiritual and community
values that has played out over thousands of years wherever pastoralist
peoples are found.  The Sheep is Life Celebration is a forum for shared
experiences, bringing together indigenous and traditional people with similar
interests and needs.  Consequently, what we can learn through the
Celebration, and the solutions that might become apparent, can have
applications to diverse situations.  

Outline of Presentations
Seminars, Roundtables and Panel Discussions
Thursday through Sunday.  
* All seminar sessions will be translated bilingually in English and Navajo.
 There will be ample time allowed for responses, questions and dialog.  
* Topics include: Two Grey Hills Trading Post: One Hundred Years, Weaving Our
Stories: The Artists Speak, Navajo Traditional Values regarding Copyright and
Ownership, Cultural and Historic Perspective on Land Use, Special Qualities
of Navajo-Churro Sheep and Wool, and Sheep and Land Management.
* Seminar sessions are being organized by D.Y. Begay, Navajo weaver; John
Gerber, Kennedy Museum; and Ann Hedlund, Dept. of Anthropology, Arizona State
University, Tempe.  Seminars will be presented each morning, Thursday through
Saturday, and Friday afternoon, and will be translated into Navajo.  There
will be time for discussion among the participants and presenters.  
* Roundtable and panel discussions, take place in the afternoon, with
representatives from various groups.  Subjects include:  Personal Accounts
About Navajo-Churro Sheep, Flock Management Techniques, Cooperation between
Pastoralists and Ranchers, Business and Marketing for Artists, and more.  

Workshops - Wednesday through Sunday
A small materials fee may be charged for some workshops.  Most workshops will
be held at San Juan College in the afternoons.  
* Technical assistance workshops on livestock and range management, wool
processing, marketing, and economic development.  Includes alternative
techniques such as using llamas to guard flocks.  Presented by Dine be Iina,
Ganados del Valle, Navajo Sheep Project, Tierra Wools and others.  
* Wool processing, dyeing and weaving workshops.  Presented by Sarah Natani,
Sharon Begay, Lena Benally, Norman Kennedy, Tierra Wools, and others.  
* Community development and marketing workshops, including a value-added
marketing strategy presented by Sally Fox, founder of FoxFibers.  Plus other
presenters invited from successful projects. 
* Dr. Lyle McNeal will coordinate intensive workshops on Wednesday and
Thursday, June 18-19, for the sheep and goat producers, including range
management seminars .  These will be held at a farm or ranch facility and
include classes on nutrition, breeding and veterinary procedures.  

Traditional Sheep Camp and Shade House
Thursday through Sunday
The public is invited to come to the sheep camp and participate in activities
at the traditional shade house.  There is no charge.
* Dine bi 'iina is inviting weavers, sheepherders and their families to set
up a sheep camp on the San Juan College Campus, where they can sell their
weavings and surplus wool.  Besides making quality weavings available for the
audience in attendance, it demonstrates to younger Navajos the economic
viability of wool production and fiber arts.  Different breeds of sheep,
including the Navajo-Churro, will be in portable pens and may be handled
where possible.  Other activities include comparisons of various breeds, herd
management discussions, demonstrations of herd llamas, and more. 
* Demonstrations of other traditional and indigenous wool processing
techniques will also be included, such as the Spanish spinning and weaving,
and Scottish waulking process.  
* Selected suppliers will be invited to demonstrate and sell specialized
products relating to sheep raising, wool production, and traditional weaving.
 This is a service for the producers and artists, who mostly live in rural
* The public can participate in hands-on activities such as wool processing,
spinning, vegetal dyeing, and weaving.  There will be examples of wool from
different breeds for comparisons, materials for children to make "box looms,"
plants used in native dyeing, a fire with dye kettles, and more
* Round Dance, a social event in which all can participate.  Time to have fun
together sharing the common language of music and dance.  

Other Celebration Activities
* Conference Banquet with well-known keynote speaker.  
* Annual meeting of the Navajo-Churro Sheep Association, the group that
officially registers the breed.  Sunday, 9:00 a.m.- noon, organized by Connie
* Weaving and Trading Post Exhibit.  Traders associated with specific styles
of Navajo weaving will be invited to set up demonstration booths with a
weaver from their area and weavings exemplifying the style such as "Two Grey
Hills," "Wide Ruins," and so forth.  Traders may sell these weavings during
the conference.  
* Field trips to locations in the Four Corners area, including songs and
stories under the full moon in the Bisti (Badlands)
* Participation of Navajo Medicine People, as appropriate, to offer prayers
and songs for the sheep.  Songs and prayers by folk artists from other
cultures will be presented, such as Gaelic waulking songs and songs
associated with saints.  

Sheep is Life is presented with support from the Fund for Folk Culture,
Intermountain Farmers Association, Navajo-Churro Sheep Association, San Juan
College, and others. 

Organizations and Press:  For setting up displays, press releases and
information on group rates, contact Suzanne Jamison, 505-536-9339, e-mail

Individuals and Scholarship Requests:  For brochures and to register, contact
Recursos de Santa Fe, 505-982-9301, ext. 6; fax 505-989-8608; e-mail
Send this form with payment to:

Sheep is Life, Recursos de Santa Fe, 826 Camino del Monte Rey, A3, Santa Fe,
NM  87505; or fax with credit card information to 505-989-8608.

To request a brochure, call 800-732-6881.

Registration Information
Mailing Address 
City, State, Zip 
Daytime Telephone 
Fax e-mail 

Register me for the Seminar

Four-day package, Thurs.-Sun.  $125
includes workshops and receptions

One day only (indicate date)    $35
includes workshops on that day

Total Amount  $_________

Enclosed is my check #______________
Please charge to my    ______Visa            _______ MC
acct. #___________________________________________
exp. date_________________________________________
authorizing signature_____________________________

Please send me additional information on

____Continuing Education Credits available through Utah State University.  

____Workshops, $20/workshop for those not registered for seminar.
        List topics of greatest interest to you.

____Special Tours of Trading Posts, Weavers Homes and the Four Corners Area.

____The Centennial Celebration of Two Grey Hills Trading Post.

____Fee reductions for sheep and goat producers, and weavers; work exchange
positions for those with low income.