Chinle Valley Singers are a Navajo family group, who began singing and performing as a group in 1981 and who preserve Navajo tradition in song and dance by adapting ancient ceremonial arts to social and entertainment venues. Rooted in rich traditional music but including new songs composed to the traditional bar, these dances are associated with skills for eking a living from the desert – sewing, cooking, riding horses, herding sheep – the music of their elders.
Chinle Valley Singers tell their story:
“The Chinle Valley Singers was created by our grandmother Elizabeth Davis. Our grandmother, Elizabeth was in her teens when she started making songs through sheep herding, sewing, and cooking. One day she was helping her relatives make a fence while she took a break, she thought of ways to entertain them. She found a coffee can and a stick and started drumming. Even after marriage at the age of 13 she continued to sing and had taught her daughters her songs. Her and her daughters are all considered the original Chinle Valley Singers. She loved to sing, she had published 3 recorded tapes with over 20 songs as well as about 12 songs that have not be recorded publicly or have been sung openly to others. We believe strongly in preserving our culture through sharing our Navajo traditions in storytelling, and in songs and dances. It is a mixture of ceremonial and social dancing. Its purpose is to gather energy for healing, it also inspires closeness between generations, it guides us to lead us through stages of life and of course also to have fun.”
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