The Hopi dance for moisture, a necessity for a nation of dry farmers. Their rhythms and intricate dance steps were demonstrated last weekend by youths from the Hopi reservation in Shungopavi, Ariz., about two hours north of Flagstaff, during the Indian America New Year’s Competition Pow Wow and Indian Craft Market.

“Our colors represent the clouds,” said Hopi dance coordinator Merle Namoki, whose two daughters and two nephews performed for the crowds.

Dancers of all ages from more than 50 tribes shared elements of their culture during the three-day event, which took place Friday through Sunday at Rillito Raceway Park. Participants traveled from across the nation to compete in the drumming and dancing events. Highlighting the daily exhibitions were performances by the Pasqua Yaqui Deer Dancers, Nahui Ollin Aztec Dancers and Mountain Apache Crown Dancers.

Despite a slow start caused by record cold weather, the pow wow received a warm reception from attendees and participants alike. Santiago Stanton from Narragansett, R.I., performed an Eastern war dance that won over the crowd, and cameras snapped non-stop as a hundred Native Americans in colorful traditional attire paraded during the grand entry.

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