Navajo Cultural Representatives Share in Yakutsk’s Summer Solstice Festival

Navajo nation representatives take part in the traditional Yakut solstice festival (Photo by State Dept)
Group photo (USCG Image)
Linda and Kansas with festival participants.

June 26–28, Linda Davis and Kansas Begaye, cultural representatives of the Navajo nation, visited Yakutsk to take part in Ysiakh Tuymaada, the traditional Yakut solstice festival. 150,000 visitors from all over the Republic of Yakutia gathered on the sacred grounds of Us Khatin to celebrate the rebirth of nature. The celebration included horse races, traditional wrestling, singing, dancing, and Yakut cuisine. Linda and Kansas met with festival participants from all over the region and shared aspects of Navajo culture and traditions. Linda and Kansas sang sacred Navajo songs on the festival’s main stage, to the cheers of audience members clearly touched by their cultural outreach. Linda and Kansas visited a language camp for the English Access Microscholarship Program, where taught the children traditional Navajo songs and dances and shared their cultural heritage to the delight of the children, who in turn proudly shared their own Yakut traditions. PAO Erik Pugner took part in the festival events, introducing Linda and Kansas and making welcoming remarks.