Cultural Performers – Amphitheater

Amphitheater Stage Performance Groups

11 a.m., Zuni Olla Maidens, Juanita Edaakie (Zuni), Director

OllaThe Zuni Olla Maidens, led by Juanita Edaakie and Loretta Beyuka, have been showcased at many events and venues. They have performed throughout the U.S. and Canada, in museums and Native American festivals, in colleges and schools, and during collaborative concerts with indigenous women performers. They have been featured performers for many years in New Mexico, notably at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial and the Pueblo Indian Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

The group is composed of ten women, who are all related, and range from 60 to 17 years of age. Through all their performances, they convey the goals of their group: to pay homage to their ancestral female ancestors and to acknowledge the role of women within the pueblo, as strong, independent females.

The Zuni Olla Maidens are best known for the Pottery Dance. In it they dance while balancing delicate, painted pottery jars on their heads. They also sing songs adapted from the men of Zuni, while accompanying themselves with a drum, a woman’s rattle, and a notched wooden rasp called a “frog box.”

The Zuni Olla Maidens, were distinguished as the only performers at the SWAIA ceremony in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when they received the Allen Houser Lifetime Achievement Award for their role as performing women artists. A highway marker has been erected on New Mexico Highway 53, near the Pueblo of Zuni acknowledging this achievement.

The Albuquerque Journal published an article in August 2010 about the Zuni Olla Maidens’ contributions to the performing arts. They have been photographed and featured in calendars and other promotional materials and magazines representing the Zuni tribe and promoting tourism for the state of New Mexico. They were featured in a documentary called “Singing Our Stories,” which is featured at many colleges as part of their Native American studies.

Noon, Oklahoma Fancy Dancers, Kevin Connywerdy, Director

OK 1The Oklahoma Fancy Dancers have been referred to as Oklahoma’s “A Team.” During their performance, they weave a story of Oklahoma’s and the United States’ rich Native heritage through music, dance, and language, giving the audience a snapshot of the wealth of diversity of Oklahoma’s history. Their performances give audiences a chance to participate and enjoy, as well as learn.


Wonzie Klinkole Tiger

Wonzie Klinekole Tiger

  • Head Singer:  John G. Hamilton (Kiowa/Caddo/Cheyenne/Wichita Tribes)
  • Director/Fancy Dancer/Hoop Dancer/MC:  Kevin Connywerdy (Comanche and Kiowa Nations)
  • Straight Dancer:  Zack Morris (Pawnee and Sac and Fox)
  • Cloth and Buckskin Dancer: Kricket Rhoads-Connywerdy (Caddo and Kiowa tribes of Oklahoma)
  • Wonzie Klinekole Tiger (Indian name is Rays of the Sun)(Mescalero-Apache tribe)


1 p.m., Tony Duncan: The Art of Flute and Hoop, Tony Duncan (Apache/Arikara/Mandan/Hidatsa) and Darrin Yazzie (Navajo)

Tony `Native American Music Awards Artist of the Year and Canyon Records recording artist Tony Duncan performs music from his latest album, “Singing Lights.” Also performing with Duncan is his long time music collabotony 2rator Darrin Yazzie. Duncan, also a 5-Time World Champion Hoop Dancer, will be incorporating his mastery of hoop dancing into this high energy performance.

Tony Duncan has performed for audiences around the world including performances at the Billboard Music Awards, the White House, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of the American Indian, and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. “All of life dances in a circle. Our music, our dances, our artwork all tell the stories of the many cycles of life. I celebrate all that is beautiful in life through my music and dancing.” –Tony Duncan


2 p.m.,  Saturday – Oklahoma Fancy Dancers


2 p.m., Sunday – Yellow Bird Dancers, The Duncan Family

Yellow BirdInternationally renowned “Yellow Bird Productions” under the direction of Ken Duncan, member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, specializes in presentations that celebrate the unique spirit of the American Indian. Yellow Bird is a professional family dance company based in Phoenix, Arizona. They include many champion dancers.

The group has toured extensively including at the request of the U.S. State Department on numerous tours to U.S. Embassies/Consulates in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Central/South America.


3 p.m., Sihasin Band with Jones Benally, The Benally Family

shiasinSihasin is a Dine word that means “to think with hope and assurance.”

Brother and sister, Jeneda and Clayson Benally of Blackfire from the Navajo (Dine) Nation in Northern Arizona have created their own unique brand of music with bass and drums. They grew up protesting the environmental degradation and inhumane acts of cultural genocide against their traditional way of life.

For over 20 years, they were the heartbeat of the critically-acclaimed and award-winning Native American punk band Blackfire. Their resistance songs caught on around the world, but a few years ago a new sound kicked in, replacing the anger. In their new band, Sihasin (Navajo for “hope”), their music reflects hope for equality, healthy and respectful communities, and social and environmental justice.

The pair have won just about every award they can on the American Indian music scene for their album “Never Surrender,” and are now mainstreaming with a Native American Showcase at SXSW. They have been featured in Le Figaro, Arizona Highways, and the Tribeca award-winning Sigur Ros. Sihasin is a rare band that does more than just perform. They leave their audience with an exhilarating feeling of Get Up, Stand Up, and Do!