Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards

To Honor the Cultures of Arizona Native American Tribes

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James Peshlakai


James Peshlakai was born at home, in the area of Wupatki National Monument Visitor Center, north of Flagstaff, Arizona. His father, uncles and grandfathers were all medicine men and he traveled with them throughout Arizona to various ceremonies. The Female Shooting Way is the ceremony that he has been ordained. He learned of the sacredness and the abstract knowledge of the ceremonies as well as the metaphysical connections of ceremonies to the lives of the Navajo.

Mr. Peshlakai is a known recording artist, storyteller, dancer and healer. He is a mentor and role model to other Navajo Medicine Men. He teaches numerous topics from Navajo horsemanship, traditional hunting and field dressing to presentations on medicinal plants at Northern Arizona University. He and his wife Mae are the founders of the non-profit Peshlakai Cultural Foundation that works with Navajo Nation schools to teach the intricacies and beliefs of their culture.

The 2014 AILTA Event to honor Mr. Peshlakai was on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

language master

Previous AILTA Recipients

Mary H. Begay
Craft: Weaver
Tribe: Navajo
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