An Acoma elder prepares
the plaza for the dancers by beating his drum and singing the
traditional feast day songs. Soon relatives and visitors from
miles away will descend upon the pueblo for a festival of food
and dancing. Outsiders are welcome, but invited to quietly and
respectfully observe. No photographs are allowed, but onlookers
will never forget the spectacles they will witness.
The songs were passed down
from his grandfather, and his grandfather's father before him.
Trade cloths and linens have replaced buckskin and thatch mat,
but the energy and spirit remain the same. As the first to rise,
his voice is a lone voice, but soon it will be joined by others
and the sound of his drum will unify the heartbeat of the village.