Crystal Loveland, the Miss Indian Farmington from 2012 to 2013, is pictured alongside Paul Sherman of Sheep Springs during the 2012 Fall Navajo Song and
Crystal Loveland, the Miss Indian Farmington from 2012 to 2013, is pictured alongside Paul Sherman of Sheep Springs during the 2012 Fall Navajo Song and Dance. (Courtesy Myra Newman)

Farmington — The color and skill of Navajo song and dance will be on display today at the Farmington Indian Center.

The event is a social dance that evolved from Ndaa, a Navajo healing ceremony, according to the website Navajo Square.

Dancers proceed in a clockwise rotation and follow the rhythm produced by a drum group and singing in Navajo.

There are two styles of dance -- the two-step or shuffle and the skip or sway. The type of dance style is dictated by the rhythm of the drum.

Guy Lee, a singer, has participated at song and dances throughout the Navajo Nation with his group Sweetwater Travelers. He said the dance provides good exercise for the body and the mind.

Another element to song and dance is the traditional Navajo attire worn by the dancers.

Women typically wear velveteen blouses and skirts, sash belts, moccasins, turquoise and silver jewelry, and their hair tied in a Tsi'yeel, or bun, while men hang leather medicine pouches to the side to accessorize their clothing.

Myra Newman, division manager of the Indian Center, said the song and dance is a good way to acknowledge the end of fair season on the Navajo Nation.

"It's a day to come out and have fun," Newman said. She added that Miss Indian Farmington Farrah Duncan will be the head lady dancer.

Last year's event had 45 registered dancers, 10 singing groups, and more than 250 people attend, she said.

"The Indian Center likes to share cultural events with citizens of Farmington and visitors of the Four Corners," Newman said.

The Farmington Indian Center was established by the City of Farmington and the Farmington Inter-tribal Indian Organization in 1975.

It provides services such as job information; community worker placement; notary public, copying and faxing services; restroom and shower facilities; and voter registration for the Navajo Nation.

In 2012, more than 30,000 people used the center's services.

Other events scheduled by the center are a Christmas Arts and Crafts Sale on Dec. 14, a Navajo shoe game on Jan. 25, the Miss Indian Farmington Pageant on June 13, and the 13th annual Indian Market and Festival in summer 2014.

IF YOU GO

What: Fall Navajo Song and Dance

When: noon to 6 p.m. today

Where: Farmington Indian Center, 100 W. Elm St.

Cost: Free

More info: 505-327-6296

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and nsmith@daily-times.com. Follow him on Twitter @nsmithdt on Twitter.