This video segment from Independent Lens documents a young woman’s experiences as she competes in the Miss Navajo Nation beauty pageant. This pageant is unique because instead of concentrating on a young woman’s outer beauty, the focus is on her knowledge and understanding of the Navajo culture and her ability to spread this culture as an ambassador of the Navajo Nation. One of the main requirements to become Miss Navajo is the ability to speak and understand Navajo, a language spoken by less than 200,000 people. In this portion of the competition, contestants respond to questions that are asked, and must be answered, in Navajo.
Learn more about the Independent Lens film "Miss Navajo."