Rug show will welcome special guests, lectures
Special guests at the 18th Annual Navajo Rug Show at Deer Valley will include Navajo code Talker George Willie on Sunday, Nov. 11 and an appearance by Jay Tavare, a Hollywood film star of Navajo descent.
Willie was part of the elite group of Navajo in World War II who used a Navajo language code for secure communications. Military commanders have since credited the code with having saved the lives of countless American soldiers and with the successful engagements of the U.S. in the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Following a ceremony for veterans at 10 a.m. at the Snow Park Lodge, Willie will speak. His oath of silence ended in 1968, when the information was declassified.
According to Adopt-A-Native Elder Executive Director Linda Myers, Hollywood actor Tavare will be a much honored guest by many Navajo attendees.
Tavare starred alongside Cate Blanchett and Tommy Lee Jones as an Apache medicine man who helps search for kidnappers in the film, "The Missing." In "Cold Mountain," which starred Jude Law, Nicole Kidman and Renée Zellweger, Tavare played a Cherokee Confederate soldier. His preparation for these films involved weeks of studying the languages, traditions, and ceremonies of the two tribes and his directors on both projects called on his expertise to ensure accurate portrayals of the American Indians of that period. Prior to "The Missing" and "Cold Mountain," he was cast as a renegade orchid hunter opposite Meryl Streep and Chris Cooper in Spike Jonze’s Academy Award-winning "Adaptation."
Within the last two years, Myers says Tavare has taken up the Adopt-a-Native Elder cause, helping to feed and support the elderly Navajo living on reservations. Myers says he directs all of his fans to the organization. In lieu of birthday presents, Tavare has asked that fans donate to Adopt-A-Native Elder, she says.
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