Tucson, AZ
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Movie Reviews





My mother and I posed for this professional photographer in front of the fabricated forest on the "set" of the 1960 Smoki Ceremonial production. We are dressed as Navajos and my mother made both of our costumes and wigs. We wore our own jewelry, concho belts, and squaw boots.

My family moved to Prescott, AZ when I was three and a half years old. My father was transferred there with the Dept. of Agriculture, Soil Convervation Service where he worked as a Range Specialist. He was active as a Mason, a Shriner, and he became involved in a group, now extinct, that was a huge part of Prescott society, the Smoki.

The Smoki People were a group of white professional men and women whose purpose was dedicated to preserving and making available to large numbers of people the culture of various Native American groups. With both of my parents heavily involved in Smoki, I grew up spending all my summer nights at the city's race track and fair grounds where my parents practiced nightly (I need to stress this "every night" bit because few people are really aware of the work that went into these productions). A choreographer who had studied a particular NA dance would teach the dance to the men. At least one dance a year was performed by "squaws" and one year, as a child, I got a chance to dance during an Apache dance in which about six children around their own little campfire were carefully watching the adults dance and were mimicking them. An thus I learned some NA dance steps.

Living in Northern Arizona we were able to attend the Indian Pow Wow held in Flagstaff every year. These were meets where tribes from all over would gather and dance and trade goods. Smoki people were there as well watching and learning, studying very closely body posture and fast moving feet in an effort to better their skills and make their own dancing as authentic as possible.

Smoki had costumers that studied every detail of Native American dress so the costumes would be as authentic as possible. They knew what each marking meant and exactly where to place it. I remember one year where the Zuni Shalako dance was performed and these large Shalakos were created to be the exact height of the Zuni role model.

In the 60's there was no such thing as a couch potato. Nothing huge was sacrificed to dance every night all summer. While the men practiced, the women would sit in the grandstand of the race track and rodeo and talk and work on various hobbies than one could bring with one and work on in the grandstand. One lady brought hard candy and would give a piece to us children when we passed by her. We lurked around her a lot. We also collected beetles that accummulated around the lights, learned to transverse the grandstand in every conceivable direction by walking only on the backs of the seats, swung from the bars defining the box seats, and collected broken tickets of losing race horses off the floor of the grandstand.

One Sunday during church I brought out my collection of these torn up racing stubs and proudly showed them to my mother who was instantly mortified. She told me put those away and whispered to me during the sermon in the 1st Southern Baptist Church that she didn't want anyone to think that they gambled on the horses. I didn't see what the big deal was but I put them away.

Each year all this research and anal retentive attention to detail, many nights of practice. culminated in one show. You heard me right . . . ONE show. It took place on a Saturday night that was deemed to be that Saturday night closest to the first full moon in August. Senator Barry Goldwater, a long time Smoki member, always was the announcer and narrator for the show/dances. Each show began with the Smoki version of a Navajo sand painting and each show ended with much revered Smoki version of the Hopi Snake Dance, a fifteen minute slice of a much longer ceremony that is part of Hopi sacred ceremonials and part of their religion.

My father was first allowed to dance the Snake Dance in 1958.

In the 60's the Hopi did not share much of anything with the outside world. One noted anthropologist was invited in and he documented what made it to the outside world the information on the snake dance. The Smoki used Bull Snakes in their dance. The Hopi used about anything they could catch including rattlers. Scary stuff. At that time visitors were not welcomed on the Hopi reservation and they were not allowed to witness any sacred ceremonies.

Smoki was a rather large organization. It took roughly 400 people to put on the once a year show. People came from all over the world to watch the Smoki dance once a year. One year tourists came all the way from Japan just for this event. Most people who actually live in Arizona and NewMexico have not been to a reservation to watch various dances that celebrate different occasions.

I was 30 years old before I received an invitation to Feast Day at Santo Domingo Pueblo. It was at this event that I first truly realized that these people's prayers were offered whilst they danced, the dancers and chanters representing the tribe. They offered thanks for their prosperity and good crops. The dancers spent a lot of time in the Kiva prior for the dance and once they got started they couldn't seem to stop, and did a second complete round even though the August temperatures were soaring up in the high 90's. I was spell bound and I watched them with tears streaming down my face. I think one would have to be dead to not be aware of the intense energy being built up there by the dancing and the songs. I experienced catharsis just watching. The Pueblo Indians of New Mexico have always been more open with regard to tourists than the Hopi. So for the Smoki, it was easier to study and reconstruct dances from these people.

But it was the Hopi, the people the Smoki most revered and tried to honor, that eventually through their protests and ridicule put an end to the Smoki dances. That and the fact that times simply were changing. It was getting hard to recruit younger members and the core of the group was aging. Young couples did not want to spend their summer at the fairgrounds dancing every night even with all the social perks of these activities. Kids seem to want to play computer games and adults seem to want to watch TV. The days are gone where it was actually great fun to go out every night and be around a lot of other people. So having the Hopi protest the show was the final nail in the coffin of Smoki. The last show was in 1990, an effort of 150 people trying to do what over 500 had done a few decades before them.

I mourn the passing of Smoki. The Hopi say that Smoki mocked them and made light of their most sacred ceremonies. The Smoki mocked no one. They honored the Hopi as best they could. No, they were not praying. Their show was theatre, not a sacred ceremony. But it was still powerful. It gave me goosebumps year after year. As a child it scared me. At the end of the dance the men have put down their snakes into a big circle of snakes. Then they grab a snake from the circle and they hold it over their heads and then they run into the trees screaming and when we saw them coming, it was scary.

The audience was always spellbound. This is the closest most would ever get to seeing a real Native American dance. It was a very very polished show. The sand paintings were spectacular, the audience watching them laying their sand, all done before their eyes. Then the colored lights would come on and the sand painting changed into something they weren't expecting at all. And you could hear the gasps, the ooooo's and the ahhhhh's.

After the show, people were allowed to come down from the grandstand and mingle with the performers. Up close they could see that the wigs were made of yarn and the brown skin was merely Max Factor theater makeup. But they could also see the attention to detail of the costumes, the real snakes that were used, and the extensive jewelry collections worn by the members.

My father, me, and my mom, all different tribes in this photo. 1961.

I grew up in squaw boots. I thought all children had them. It was just part of living in Prescott. One had real moccasins and one had a pair of cowboy boots. I could indentify tribes by dress. I could identify fetishes and Kachinas. I talked about ballet using French words and I talked about Smoki dances using phrases like "double toe heel". Once during a drought I was visitng a friend who lived outside of Espanola, NM in an old adobe house that she'd added a room to and had a corner adobe fireplace put in the room. I was visitng from Texas and each night the sky would fill with rain clouds that never seemed to drop any rain, but moved on.

I told her, "We need a good rain dance." She agreed. I told her that all I knew was some bits and pieces of the Hopi Snake dance . . . did she have any rattles? Nope but she did produce a couple of Mexican morrocos. We each took one and I showed her how to do a couple of basic steps and off wewent dancing in the desert, our own version of giving thanks for what we had and asking that we might be blessed with some rain. It may not have been authentic. And it would probably piss the Hopi off. But it seemed to please God, for we were blessed with rain that night, a very intense thunderstorm. A hole in the roof led to part of her new fireplace mud running down in rivulets, much like the Max Factor makeup ran one year when it rained on the Smoki Ceremonials and the Indians got kind of white mid dance.

Maybe Smoki was just theater. Or maybe the Smoki Snake Dance was not Hopi at all. Maybe it was not the Hopi's to be pissed off about. It belonged to the Smoki. Maybe it was the Smoki's way of giving thanks and praying. If not, why were we all spellbound by it despite the fact we'd seen it year after year after year? Why was it necessary every year, the one thing that was part of every show since the formation of the Smoki in 1921? Why was it so important to us that we gave up our summer nights just to practice it? Certainly not because we wanted to be a part of a one night show.

Smoki was far more than a one night show. It was a tribe, a very large extended family who hung out with each other most of the summer. It was a group of people who worked hard not one being paid for their efforts. It was all volunteer work. My mother volunteered at the Smoki Museum during the summer as well when she was not teaching school, welcoming visitors and answering questions. It was my job each morning to Windex all the glass cases that housed the various ancient artifacts collected from the surrounding area. The women made all the costumes for the dances and the wigs.

The Hopi claimed that we were exploting them for money, that Smoki existed to make money. At first it was used to make money for the city of Prescott just after World War I and then later to help those affected by the Depression. Prescott has always relied heavily on the summer tourist industry and it's big attraction was the Frontier Days Rodeo that was always held over the 4th of July weekend. It was known as the west's oldest rodeo and it was very important that this rodeo continue. Prescott is surrounded by large ranches and many of the kids were bussed in from ranches to go to school. So there was a large population of young people that took part in rodeos and who were being raised on working ranches. I don't think there is anything wrong with using a show to earn money that then helps a city and I don't find it appropriate to talk about such an organization in an accusing manner. No Smoki member benefitted financially from being in Smoki. Quite the opposite. Their work and their time was all volunteered. It was a labor of love.

The Hopi also stated that they didn't need Smoki to keep their traditions alive, that they are quite capable of doing that themselves thank-you-very-much. However, one of the biggest complaints was that they resented the Smoki being able to dance the Snake Dance when they were, in fact, not allowed to do so on the reservation by the United States Government. So which is it? If you aren't allowed to dance, aren't you happy someone is not only preserving it but doing so in public, doing so right in front of the government that is opposing the Native Americans. What better way to show them that they cannot wipe out a culture just because they want to. Nor in the early days were the Hopi sharing their culture. They have since decided it is time to share their wisdom with their white brothers; but this was not always the case.

I think what happened is that to the Hopi, Smoki became a symbol of all the persecution the Hopi had faced. They are on a reservation surrounded by the Navajo reservation. Like other Native Americans they had to fight to keep their traditions and we all know that much opposition has been found not just with the Bueau of Indian Affairs but with other Native Americans who advocated assimilation into the white society. In the 70's, for example, Native American traditionalists were seen as political radicals but were a force that supported a reclaiming of traditional values and culture and seeing the poison of American society for what it is. But Smoki, who were not involved in any way with repressing the Hopi, were an easier target than the US Government.

The Smoki did not call their annual dance the Hopi Snake Dance but called it the Smoki Snake Dance. They were not delusional. They knew it was impossible to duplicate such a dance. And when the Hopi actually came to see the show (before they were bitching about it theorectically and based on hearsay) they laughed because they felt the Smoki were awful dancers. I've never been clear on what exactly was the big threat.

But, sadly, I think Smoki would have become extinct simply because of the changes in modern society. People just don't get out and socialize as a community any more. Smoki united people after World War I, and it brought hope during and shortly after the depression, putting people to work on its building projects. My memories of growing up in Smoki are some of the most treasured memories I have.

I have a Native American grandfather and I do not know what tribe he belongs to because my adoption records are sealed. The only thing I know about him is that he is not from New Mexico. I always hoped that he was Hopi. I always thought the Hopi were so special, almost sacred. And my respect and reverence for them was because of Smoki. Their attacking of Smoki finished Smoki off and I have since taken them down from the pedestal that I put them upon. I clearly did not know them. I only knew Smoki and thought that I knew Hopi through Smoki. But the Hopi use Smoki as a dirty word, a word they use to berate those they hate. The Smoki used Hopi as a word that was sacred. We loved that which did not love us. We honored that which would never honor us. We tired to emulate that which found us disgusting.

That makes for some pretty heavy disillustionment.

So having gotten politics out of the way, I will now share with you some of my family's memories of that very rich organization called the Smoki and some memorabilia and pictures. I apologize for the quality of the photos. They are very old.

In 1941 Charles Franklin Parker wrote a book called, "When the Smoki Dance." This book was authorized by the Council of the Smoki People, Inc. It was first published in 1942 and a second printing was done in 1946, which updated the list of Chiefs to include those since the first printing. This is the version that I have.

Parker wrote: "Dedicated to those who in the founding of THE SMOKI PEOPLE had a vision of the importance of perpetuating the finer qualities of the native American culture, the dances, folkways, and creations of THE AMERICAN INDIANS".

In the early part of the 20th century the people in Prescott were not blind to the plight of their Native American co-habitants of both Arizona and the rest of North America. During the course of Smoki's existance they also did dances of the Aztecs and the Inca's. But most dances were centered around those of the Southwest.

Mr. Parker said this about the Smoki in the Introduction to his book:

"The SMOKI of PRescott, Yavapai County, Arizona, is one of the most unique organizations in the world. When in 1934 I first heard of the SMOKI and their ceremonials I was overcome with curiosity. When I discovered that some of ny best friends "played Indian" I was staggered by the very idea. When I saw the ceremonials I was amazed at the performance. And now that I have become thoroughly acquainted with the SMOKI and have come to know the ideas that motivate them, the great exactness of their research, the tremendous effort that is required of them each year, and the intricacy of the ceremonials, I marvel at the conception, the execution, and the excellence. It is because of my own growing personal interest that I have desired to share with many others the story of the birth, growth, and maturity of this most unusual Tribe."

the back cover

When I did a search on "Smoki" I found the site of the Smoki Museum which still exists in Prescott but absent from that site was any information on the Smoki People and that did not sit right with me. How did such a rich organization allow themselves to be so completely disgraced that not one person seemed to be fighting to tell their own story? Can something that involved so many people for almost 70 years just cease to exist without anyone to defend what really made up that organization? I can understand why the Hopi don't want to be represented by the Smoki. They should represent themselves. But the Smoki should not be defined by the Hopi or any other Native American. Smoki was an organization made up of white men and women. And they should be the ones to tell their own story.

I see now that the Smoki Museum has since added a permanent exhibit that does focus on the Smoki People but it begins and thus seems to be defined by their Native American critics. I can hear a multitude of people saying to me, "Wow, Anne, you just really don't 'get' it! Smoki was offensive to these people." So Smoki by today's standards is not politically correct. I forget sometimes that White people are suppose to always walk on egg shells when dealing with ANY minority. I lived in a community in northern New Mexico where white folks only comprised about 8% of the city but it was always still our jobs to walk on egg shells. At the same time, no one in the whole town gave a tinker's damn about our feelings.

So I'm not a particularly politically correct person. This is my website and I get to say exactly what is on my mind here. The Smoki People define the Smoki. The Smoki People are the REASON the Smoki Museum exists and supported the museum singlehandedly the entire time the organization existed; and to disassociate the Museum from the Smoki People as they did through the 90's was wrong. The Smoki did not have to create a museum full of Native American artifacts. They could have instead created a museum full of a multitude of Smoki memorabilia for their own story is rather remarkable in itself.

But the Smoki never existed to make themselves famous or to boast about their own achievements. The Smoki existed to bring the Native American culture into the consciousness of mainstream America. This is a country who spent the 1800's doing everything in their power to to conquer and erradicate the Native American tribes and when they couldn't do that, they set upon a campaign to take their culture away from them. Indians were heathens. Indians were filthy. And as a child the one thing I heard about the Hopi were that they were extremely filthy people who never bathed. Smoki was created at the height of American disgust with Indians.

Smoki showed the beautfy of the Native American culture. Smoki honored the dances of the Native American tribes at a time when Hollywood made money showing cowboy's always being attacked but skillfully overcoming their Indian enemies. Throughout the heyday of Hollywood in the 40's and 50's, Smoki continued to grow and continued to show another side of Indian life.

It's a thankless job, obviously. But it was also a job that the Smoki People loved. In their efforts to keep Native American culture in the consciousness of the rest of the world, the Smoki People themselves were transformed. They understood "tribe". They were a close knit group. They were a hard working group. To a degree, they were a secretive group. It took me decades to pry out of my dad just a few tidbits of information regarding their controversial initiation. Hearsay said it was pretty rough and many feared it as a severe hazing ritual. But all in all, it was just more theater. And two or three times a year they had bashes that earned them a reputation of being hard core partiers, probably second in Prescott to the Shriners. One was after the show. They washed off their make up, washed the make up off their kids and sent them home to a babysitter, and did some serious unwinding after working all summer for that one show. They had a serious wrap party.

One of the most fun things that I liked was the annual summer picnic. There were two giant coolers filled with dry ice, one with beer and one with soda pop. Everyone brought a side dish, pot luck style, and the organization provided the meat. The adults talked and drank. The kids played games and hiked as the picnic was always held at the park at Thumb Butte. It went all afternoon and into the night and it was a blast.

But I think what I would like the Hopi and other Native Americans to know about Smoki was that they loved Indians. to quote Charles Franklin Parker again,

"The SMOKI are vitally concerned and energetically interested in research into all aspects of Indian life. The mainttainence of the Museum and library are inherent aspects of their tribal affairs. . . . a large collection of Indian paintings has been obtained as well as the gigantic folios of authentic Indian photographs by Curtis and by Barry M. Goldwater."

I'm not sure that many people are aware that Indians were very superstitious and wary of having their picture taken. Barry Goldwater is one of the few men who were allowed to photograph several tribes. But he spent a lot of time out in the country and on reservations. Like many men, my father included, he was very connected to the land of Arizona. These guys just didn't do well when cooped up in the city for very long and they had to spend a certain amount of time out in the wilderness areas to basically stay alive and healthy. It was very generous of Barry Goldwater to donate his photography to the Smoki people.

What I think some people lose sight of when discussing the Smoki is that their strength came at a time when it seemed all things Indian was going to disappear. Thankfully, that has not happened. But the culture has changed. Where once there was mystery, there are now Casinos. The Native American jewelers have also changed with the times and the traditional squashes and Thunderbirds have been replaced by more complicated pieces for the very rich. The Navajo rugs are now a looser weave, easier to crank out in volume and gone are the traditional colors that I was raised with like the Ganada Red, the blacks, and grays. My collection of rugs that I inherited from my parents were ruined in a flood while in storage. My heart broke with their loss for they are literally irreplaceable.

I will refrain from commenting on whether or not I agree with the Hopi assessment that they are best equipped to keep their own culture alive. But I will say that I am thankful for places like the Smoki Museum that has collected and displayed the artifacts from archeological digs and that there are people in my culture, the white Anglo culture, the Smoki culture if you will, that cares enough to make places that keep such artifacts safe. Because I see in the southwest a corruption of a patient, slow, and earth based peaceful culture that produced beautiful artwork in the form of every day items such a pottery, rugs, and jewelry that took a long time to make with attention paid to intricate detail and this corruption caters to the lowest form of tourist appeal. What I am most familar with are the Pueblo Indians in New Mexico and I would not presume to inflict such judgment on the Hopi as I have no idea how the Hopi interact currently and culturally with the outside world, if they do at all. I certainly wouldn't blame them if they do not as I see the "outside world" as a corrupting influence.

the Snakes

I almost forgot to comment on the snakes. How could I forget such a thing? The Smoki could not perform the Smoki Snake Dance every year without a LOT of primarily Bull snakes. They were collected and stored in the "snake pit" which was located behind the Smoki compound which housed the Smoki museum, and the buildings that compromised the Smoki headquarters and the workrooms they used to make costumes and equipment. I forget the length required of the snakes but I believe it was a minimum of four feet. Anyone who brought in a snake that was deemed suitable for the show, was given a free ticket to the show. I remember kids always looking for snakes. After the show, the snakes were set free. Until the show, they all had to be fed. The snakes were a chore. The snakes were a big deal.

In the Snake Dance there are two clans dancing side by side and both carry snakes during the dance. One of my favorite parts of the "big night" was when the audience was allowed to come down after the show and mingle with the dancers and take all the photographs they wanted. They would stand in amazement fully realizing that the snakes were indeed real and alive. My father danced with the Antelope Clan and just danced with his snake wound around his arm. He was partnered with a man from the Snake Clan who danced with the snake not only wrapped around his arm but also through his teeth. In his mouth. Body on one side of mouth, head on the other. Neck of snake in mouth. Got the picture? Well if you don't, check out this photograph taken by the Prescott Courier.

Click on pic for a surprise link.

Here is the brochure for 1956. I'm not sure exactly when my father joined the Smoki but I do know that his first two years of dancing were in 1957 and 1958. Chances are that he did some grunt work before being allowed to dance. After one dances for two years, one is allowed to get the tattoo on the side of one's hand. This and more is explained in the brocure which also reiterates much of which I have already said with regard to the show and the groups intentions. To read the brochure, merely click on its picture.

After reading this brochure I am reminded of the dinners before and during the ceremonials. On either side of the pueblo a forest was created each year with three campsites located on each side. The Smoki families arrived in the afternoon and put on their makeup and costumes. Once the children passed the makeup inspection, they were each issued three tickets to be traded later for soda pop. The pop could only be drank behind the pueblo. It could not be taken to the campsites. So with pop tickets safely tucked away for later use, the squaws and children who had completeted their dress and makeup then went out to their designated campsite. Shelters made out of pine tree branches had been constructed giving them shade and various seats were arranged. A pot of beans was cooking over an open camp fire and we basically had dinner at the campsite in front of the gathering audience. The ceremonials began just after sunset and tourists filtered into the grandstand over a couple of hours prior to sunset and they basically watched us having our dinner. If a man wanted to eat, he covered his costume with a blanket and came to the campsite for some food. Some men danced in more than one dance and many danced in the snake dance, so there were costumes changes being made constantly in the Pueblo which basically functioned as dressing rooms and bathrooms for the performers.

This photo was scanned from the Parker book written in 1941. Keep that in mind when viewing these black and white photos. Aren't the guys in the white lab coats great? Max Factor actually developed some specific colors for Smoki which no doubt did double duty in the movie industry.

I think it is important here to stress that while we attended practices every night we didn't really have an opportunity to see everyone in costume and makeup until the night of the performance. We looked forward to the show as much as the people in the grandstand did. And the first two years that my father danced my mother and I actually watched the show from the grandstand. Then we began to dress and be a part of the community eating dinner in full make up and dress in front of the tourists. One year I danced in a little short Apache dress that was so short that I had to wear died brown cotton underpants the same color as the makeup on my legs. If my mother danced, another "squaw" looked after me.

Even back in 1941 children were an integral part of the show.

Here is a photo of "backstage" which is actually inside of the pueblo that was a permanent structure in the center of the race track located in the fairgrounds. For anyone who does not know, the horse races moved up from Phoenix to Prescott in the summer where the altitude was a mile high and the weather much cooler.

Not very fancy at all is it?

My father out of makeup:

Dad in 1964 during the dress rehersal:

I don't think there is room under there for much. Yup all that smooth skin on the sides of that little loin cloth is real skin. I suspect the Smoki People invented the now popular thong.

Another posed picture for a professional photographer. This was not unusual. Many came to cover the dances for purposes of publicity as well as to accommodate magazine interest. The television "You Asked For It" also did an expose on the Smoki which was very informative.

My dad (left), Jay Hawley (middle), and a man I can't identify (right).

In 1957 my father chanted in an Aztec dance called Los Voladores. In 1958 he was allowed to dance in three of the five dances performed that year. The Sand Painting that year was the Navajo Thunderbird. That was followed by the Zuni Koyemshi Plume Dance in which Dad danced in the Galaxy Fraternity. This was followed by a Zuni Rain Dance, the Buffalo Dance (where dad danced as a Buffalo), then there was a Corn Maiden dance, and the fanle was, of course, the Smoki Snake Dance in which Dad danced with the Antelope clan.

Dad as a Buffalo in 1958.

The early names of the chiefs indicated that the Smoki didn't take themselves all too seriously for their choice of names show quite a bit of humor. Here are a few of the early chiefs:

1922 - Clear Water
1923 - Clear Water
1924 - Light Foot
1925 - White Fang
1926 - Red Horse
1927 - Red Horse
1928 - Lopear
1929 - Big Wind
1930 - Hairlip
1939 - Bald Eagle (reckon he was a little short in the hair dept?)
1940 - Beaver Tail (nah . . . too easy.)

I hope you have some insight now as to what Smoki was and what it meant to all of us who participated in the organization. Even as a child I had a sense of how big this group really was and the work that went into these shows, the fun that was had by all, and the ease with which they all seemed to get along; for a venture that large and complicated could not have been possible for so many years without incredible dedication and cooperation.

There have been many things in my life that have come and gone that I feel I was truly lucky to have participated in. I feel blessed that I came of age in the late 60's for that is an era I wouldn't have missed for the world. I feel blessed that I grew up in Arizona under immense blue skies, clean water, and fresh air. I'm glad that I grew up listening to Beatle music. And I'm blessed to have spent my childhood in Smoki. I'm thankful that it kept us busy and gave us focus for I would hate to realize that my childhood was made up of nothing more than computer games and television. I'm sorry that the Hopi found the Smoki offensive. I pray that someday they will look back on the events that transpired in the 20th century and come to realize that the Smoki were good hearted people with the best of intentions. I believe the efforts of the Smoki to bring Native American culture to the world at large helped set the stage for the overwhelming acceptance of Indian wisdom and interest that exists today. All things unfold in a manner that we often don't understand as it is happening. With hindsight we often realize that events could not have unfolded any other way and all things have served a purpose. Native Americans couldn't have gotten better press and promotion had they hired the best PR firm on earth than the Smoki gave them at no charge. Many people who did not have the courage to trespass on a reservation (and it does take a bit of courage even today when one is not sure if they are welcomed or not) were able to catch a glimpse of the beautiful traditions that they would otherwise never have seen.

Personally, I would be flattered if someone were interested enough in my lifestyle and religion to emulate it and then spend thousands of dollars every year to bring it to the rest of the world. My family made and paid for all of our costumes, paid dues to the organization to belong to it, gave up their spare time for most of the summer, did volunteer work apart from the show itself, and never received any compensation of any kind except for the enjoyment of the activity. I was personally distressed when I heard the Hopi spokesman say that the Smoki were just in it for the money. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Smoki never even opened a casino. What more can I say?

In 1942 Chief War Cloud stated in the Foreword he prepared for the Parker book, "When the Smoki Dance", very succinctly the purpose of the Smoki.

"Throughout the years SMOKI has sought neither glory nor gold, being content in the realization that through its efforts a greater understanding and appreciation of the American Indian may have been instilled in the hearts and minds of those who have seen its work."

I hear the Smoki burned all of their show related property when they knew that they would never put on another show. It could have been sold. The Smoki are not for sale. Well let's not be hasty. I will take $1000 for this cute little brochure. Collector's item. Mmmhmmm.


My Parents
School Pics
1958-1969 Smoki
1984 - Bernalillo
1985 - 1998 Alan
1998 - 2006 My Auras
2003 - My House
2005 - My eyes
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