Walking into a New Year

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Sinuuv Larry, carrying his grandfather’s staff, walks with his sister O’Hozhoni Larry in memory of their grandpa “Buckskin,” the late Saa-sawnia Hiswaqs.
Jr. Miss Southern Ute Leandra Litz shakes hands with Southern Ute Councilmember Lorelei Cloud and others prior to the beginning of the walk.
Southern Ute elder Nathan Strong Elk speaks with attendees of the annual walk.
Sinuuv Larry proudly holds the staff of his late grandfather, Saa-sawnia Hiswaqs (Robert Buckskin).
Alongside her family, Oolcu Buckskin speaks about her father, the late Saa-sawnia Hiswaqs (Robert Buckskin).
Walkers begin the five-mile trek from the Southern Ute Veteran’s Memorial Park along a designated route to the Ouray Memorial Cemetery.
Walkers descend the hill from County Road 516 to County Road 517, making their way back to Ignacio.
Christopher Tabee (Northern Ute), sings a blessing song for the walkers at the half-way point of the five-mile walk.
Fabian Martinez and Oolcu Buckskin lead the walkers on the final leg of the New Year’s Day walk towards Ouray Memorial Cemetery.
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
Robert L. Ortiz | The Southern Ute Drum
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As done in years past, community members have walked, carrying prayers and blessings into the New Year. Beginning with prayers and words of encouragement and the purpose for the walk, as explained by organizers, Daisy Bluestar and Oolcu Buckskin “to bring the new year in, in a good way.” The walk was first organized in 1990 by Buckskin’s father, the late Saa-sawnia Hiswaqs (Robert Buckskin) and has continued in his memory to this day, who passed away in 2005. Taking various routes throughout the years, the walk is intended to bring in the new year with prayers and blessings, through sacrifice that is endured through the cold weather and miles walked. Walkers walk for their own personal reasons, but each with the hopes for a good new year.

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