Navajo Sheep Herding At Risk From Climate Change. Youth Maintain Tradition

"WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — Whenever Amy Begaye’s extended family butchered a sheep, she was given what she considered easy tasks — holding the legs and catching the blood with a bowl. She was never given the knife.

That changed recently.

In the pale light of dawn at this year’s Miss Navajo Nation pageant, 25-year-old Begaye and another contestant opened a week of competition with a timed sheep-butchering contest. Begaye says preparing to compete, which also required she practice spoken Navajo and learn more about her culture, brought out another side. It taught her to be confident: that she, as a gentle young woman, could be courageous and independent enough to fulfill such an important responsibility."

Melina Walling and John Locher report for the Associated Press October 30, 2023.

Source: AP, 10/31/2023