|White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers|
Dance Group Representative:
Born and raised on the White Mountain Apache reservation, in the Whiteriver community of North Central Arizona, Joe Tohonnie Jr's culture is his greatest inspiration for performing. At the age of six years old, Joe was given a gift. A precious gift to sing both traditional Apache and Navajo songs. His grandfather, Stacey Classey was a medicine man who sang tradional Apache songs.
From his Navajo lineage, his father, Joe Tohonnie Sr., gave his son the methods to sing traditional Navajo songs. Both Apache and Navajo infuences of songs have brought him full circle to find his own personal voice.
In honor and respect of these two tribal influences (this emergence is a first and it has never been done before) he chose to find a peaceful resolution instead of conflict. The projects that come his way are very special, a true labor of love that he is very proud to work on, but most of all he is grateful for the many people who have come together on his behalf.
In addition, Joe's Dzilth Ligai White Mountain Apache Crown Dancer's are his family, they protect him in many ways. It is with great respect that they honor their tradional values and their integrity with who they are and what they represent. Joe also enjoys working on projects that involve the youth of today. Some of the best teachers in life are the youth. Joe appreciates the children who thank him for keeping their tradition alive through song and dance.
Joe has been honored by accepting invitations from the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the 2002/2003 Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, NM, and the upcoming Santa Fe Indian Marker om Sante Fe, NM. More recently, Joe released his second CD "The Dancin Stars" on May 22, 2004 and his debut CD Good Old Times" on January 1st, 2004. Both CD's are making noise across Indian Country. Joe is well on his way to crossing tribal barriers that may have divided us, but in the end only bring us closer to who we are.
Written By Ms. Cherileen Teasyatwho-Henry