On Wednesday, November 10th , Mesalands Community College welcomed Ryedale Largo & the Dine Dance Group for a free public performance on campus. As part of Mesalands’ celebration of Native American Heritage Month, the troupe performed a selection of Navajo and Apache traditional dances for a crowd of two hundred spectators. Students from Tucumcari Elementary and Middle Schools joined community
members, Mesalands administration and staff – and even a handful of passing tourists – to experience a taste of these venerable Native American cultures.
In between dances, drummer and traditional singer Ryeland Largo shared some words of wisdom from the Navajo tradition. “We all face challenges,” he said. “You have to have heart and meet those challenges like a warrior – with strength and hope.” The two young dancers introduced themselves first in Navajo and then in English. They thanked the college for their invitation and thanked the crowd for coming out to share in the performance. Some audience members literally shared in the performance, as the
dancers convinced a dozen young students, staff members, and even MCC VP Dr. Hazel Roundtree, to join in the performance of some traditional dance moves.
Mr. Largo also recognized the hospitality and commitment to cultural awareness of Dr. Gregory Busch and the Mesalands community and offered special thanks to Mesalands Silversmithing instructor Eugene Ross and his wife Judy for their assistance and their dedication to bringing Native American cultural events to our campus. (The Rosses also dressed Mesalands mascot Petey for the event, so check him out next time you are passing through the Student Commons area of Building A during the month of November.) Eugene Ross’ courses include instruction in traditional Native American silver casting and jewelry-making techniques – which provides a great balance with longtime Mesalands favorite Eddie Mardis’ Western Arts silversmithing courses. Registration for spring classes is now open, and 2022 could be the year for you to pursue your artistic interests in jewelry-making or other Fine Arts courses. Native
American Heritage Month continues throughout November.