This postcard shows the Santa Fe Railway's Indian Band in the parade at the Inter-Tribal Ceremonial, Gallup, New Mexico.
The Santa Fe All-Indian Band showcased musical talents of the railway's Indian employees. The band started in 1923 with three Native Americans who entertained for a Santa Fe Railway shop picnic in Winslow, Arizona. The original band included a trumpet, a tuba, and a bass drum. The inter-tribal band had members from as many as twelve tribes. Although most band members were Santa Fe employees, some family members were also included. The the Santa Fe All-Indian Band played at events for more than forty years. It was dissolved in 1964, because there weren’t enough replacement band members to keep the band going.
The Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial is still an annual event. The following description is from the New Mexico Tourism Department website:
Since 1922, the people of Gallup, New Mexico have been proud to present the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial each summer. A unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Native American arts, cultures, and traditions, “Ceremonial”, as it is known throughout the region, is a special time when indigenous peoples from throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico travel to Gallup to share the best of their creative and performing talents and diverse heritages with the rest of the world, and to reunite with other indigenous groups. Nowhere else on Earth can you experience tribal ceremonial dances, a contest pow-wow, indoor and outdoor arts and crafts markets, all Indian rodeos, a world class juried art show, opportunities to buy authentic Native American art and jewelry, parades, Native American foods, a ceremonial queen contest, and crafts demonstrations, all in one location at one time.
November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. This is a time to celebrate the heritage and contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives. President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations (with some variants in the name of the month) have been issued each year since 1994. The 2011 proclamation issued by President Barack Obama is online here.
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