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Annual Christmas bazaar brings community together
Steadily growing event began approximately 15 years ago
SHIPROCK — Yvonne Begay carefully arranged her homemade aprons on a table outside the Shiprock Chapter house.
This was Begay's first time selling the garments today at the Shiprock Chapter Christmas Bazaar.
The annual event started Dec. 11 with hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It concludes on Saturday.
Begay decided to sell the 1950s-inspired aprons because she has several cooks in her family and figured other families have relatives who have a passion for cooking.
"I like vintage designs," she said about the aprons that varied in color.
Vendors sell items ranging from jewelry to home décor, and booths were located throughout the chapter house, as well as outside near the main entrance.
Pies, breads, brownies and cookies were for sale at the From Scratch Bakery by the Doughboys booth.
Jerry Benally and his brother have been selling baked goods, which are prepared and baked at their Farmington home, at the bazaar for three years.
Benally, who is originally from Shiprock, likes to participate in the event because it takes place in his hometown, and he and his brother wanted to offer high-quality baked goods.
"For us, it was important to bring something onto the reservation because often so much goes off," he said.
They also sell at flea markets in Gallup and Sheep Springs, and in Kayenta, Tuba City and Window Rock in Arizona.
Matt Windham and his mother Linda Windham were among the customers who stopped at Benally's booth. They said the event was what they were seeking as they visited the area from Mineral Wells, Texas.
Matt Windham said they heard about the sale while visiting a pawn shop.
"You know it's quality stuff that's meticulously made. …I'd rather give my money to someone who I know will personally see the benefit," he said.
Before entering the chapter house, Linda Windham bought earrings and necklaces from a vendor outside the facility.
The items will be given as Christmas presents, she said.
Lorraine Atson and her family participate in the bazaar each year.
At their booth, they were selling sterling silver jewelry, storyteller figures, dolls, scarves and banana bread.
"It's a way to show the public how creative people are," Atson said adding the event showcases handmade items.
She said the event has grown since it started approximately 15 years ago, and it provides space for community members to reconnect once a year.
"It's a good meeting place," Atson said.
Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 and by email at email@example.com.