Navajo Culture on Display at Rehoboth Dinner

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Navajo traditions and culture were on display on September 26 at Rehoboth Christian School in Rehoboth, N.M. The fall carnival drew 350 hungry supporters.

“The best Navajo taco is in the beans and the fry bread. The beans have to be cooked to perfection with the right ingredients: ground beef, salt, black pepper, onions, red or green chili,” said Loretta Smith. “The fry has to be golden crisp, but not hard. I have a family secret to cooking beans and cannot share the one ingredient. Sorry.”

This year’s dough mixer was Angie Holtsoi. She worked with a crew of 16 teens and adults from the school community. The dinner, which raised $1,750, benefits the band and choral departments of Rehoboth Christian School.

Angela Barker also attended the dinner. “From the stories I heard, the Diné were first introduced to flour, coffee, and other non-Native foods while they were in captivity at Fort Sumner,” she said. “Many people were given these foods without any directions on how to prepare them.  Many became sick from eating raw flour and other food products. Eventually the Diné learned how to use the ingredients, and, in my opinion, became the best fry bread and Navajo taco makers.”

About the Author

Shashi DeHaan is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Arizona and Red Mesa.