Sunday, May 23, 2010

Clara's Laugh Party

When a baby is born, the Navajo's believe that the "wind" (soul) enters the body, but is not attached to the body until the baby's first laugh. So everyone in the family and all of the family's friends want to be the first one to make the baby laugh. This lucky person gets to host a party to celebrate the child's soul joining it's body, for it's when she laughs that her soul is attached. Before she laughs she is watched over by the Holy People, but once she laughs... the Holy People realize that she is taken care of. It is said that this is the reason why a baby will stare off and sometimes smile when there is seemingly no one there to interact with... the Holy People are there watching over.
Clara's party went well and everyone seemed to have a great time. I have been preparing for this party for quite a while and I am sad that it is over with already. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I had hoped to, but I tend to take too many pictures anyway. Clara sported her name-sake onsie with a little bling on it.... thanks Carminda & Lori ;o). She looked adorable, but the picture below shows a very cranky little girl. Let's just say that Clara wasn't exactly laughing at her "laugh party", but she did okay. Clara was also able to wear her turquoise jewelry or as Dana might call it, her native ice. The Navajo's believe that when a baby is born he/she lives in the soft world and during that time you are not suppose to put anything hard and fixed on the body or they may take on those qualities. After the laugh party, the baby can wear jewelry, bracelets or other decorations.

Here, Clara is putting a pinch of salt on Aiyana's food. Salt is traditionally given as part of a gift to the guests at a laugh party because it was a high dollar commodity at one time.

Jen is holding a Navajo taco in this picture. We served a traditional roasted corn soup with fry bread and all of the fixings for Navajo tacos. Dana claims that the Navajo were the first to make a Native American version of the taco, but other natives also make tacos so they are commonly called Indian tacos when you are around other tribes. We, however, call them Navajo tacos ;o)

I added my own little twist to the party by introducing a hula hoop contest. I figured it would get people laughing and what better to do at a "laugh party" than laugh. My mom took the prize... No one compared. Here she is showing off and holding Aiyana while she hula hoops.

Here are a couple of pictures of Clara with her big sister. I was taking pictures of Clara when Aiyana came up and sat next to her on the chair. Aiyana even wrapped her arm around Clara's neck to pose for the camera. Sibling love ;o)

I thought this one was funny because Aiyana's looking one way and Clara's looking the other.

Grandma Cummings kneeling in front of Clara to talk to her.

This was Clara mid-party. The blanket was given to her by Grandma Cummings.

In addition to giving salt at the party, Clara gave gifts to her guests. The tradition of the baby giving gifts is meant to teach the baby how to be giving throughout his/her life.
Here's a picture I took of the girls earlier in the day... precious.


tbsomeday said...

what a COOL party!
i love the Navajo traditions!
i wish i lived closer to you
looks like it was a party rich in love and tradition
very beautiful pictures with all the bright colors and people
your girls are beautiful!

Karri said...

Too too cute!!

Great traditions!!!

Jana said...

Clara is beautiful! I wish I lived closer too! What a great tradition!! I love the Clara onsie!!!!

Darren said...

I bet I could have made Clara laugh. Hope to see you guys soon.