The Gallup Ceremonial

Every year, the white mayor and council of Gallup organize a Ceremonial. The Gallup Ceremonial symbolizes the ways in which whites misunderstand Native American tradition and appropriate it for their own purposes. Dancers from a wide range of Native American groups are invited the Gallup Ceremonial and are paid for their performances. This demonstrates the whites’ lack of comprehension of the differences between Native American tribes, as well as their ignorance of the specific purpose of each individual ceremony. Whereas traditional ceremonies are performed around important events or times of year, with a specific ritual meaning, the Gallup Ceremonial is intended purely for the entertainment of whites. In addition, for the rest of the year, the town of Gallup at best ignores and at worst promotes the racist mistreatment of Native Americans, symbolizing the ways in which whites are eager to praise Native American artifacts but do not want to deal with the ongoing lives of real Native Americans.