In 1952, Beulah Melvin Allen, M.D. became the first Miss Navajo at the Navajo Nation Fair. According to Dr. Allen, the titleholder “Miss Navajo” was selected by crowd applause before evolving into a week-long competition and pageant we know today. Contestants competing for the title would stand in front of an audience of approximately 10,000 people. The young lady who received the loudest applause would be crowned and recognized as “Miss Navajo.”
During the early period, there were many changes to the title since its inception. Miss Navajo 1954 - 1956, 1957-1958 Charlotte Lawrence Greenstone was the only woman to hold the title for three terms. After 1958, the pageant introduced dual titles with Miss Traditional Navajo and Miss Modern Navajo to represent the two worlds Navajo women must walk in modern society. The dual titleholders changed back into the singular “Miss Navajo” title recognizing Miss Navajo 1963-1964 Anna Mae Begay Fowler.
In 2010, the Office of Miss Navajo Nation crowned the winner as “Miss Navajo Nation” as the official and new titleholder name. The titleholder name was changed to represent the position Miss Navajo Nation represents in the tribal governance system. Present day, titleholder can only serve one term and is recognized as “Miss Navajo Nation”.
The Miss Navajo Nation is recognized as the Goodwill Ambassador of the Navajo Nation, she represents, establishes and maintains relationships between various nations and advocates for Navajo people. She is capable of accomplishing many goals and projects and is a positive role model for young people everywhere. Throughout the years, Miss Navajo Nation has represented both symbolic and real-life efforts and will continue to do so in the 21st Century.
As each year passes by, Miss Navajo Nation remains a consistent presence in the Navajo Nation Government and endures administration change and the changing of time.
MISS NAVAJO NATION PAGEANT
The Office of Miss Navajo Nation is responsible and mandatory to plan, coordinate and host the Pageant annually, and is officially responsible for initiating and implementing changes to competition categories.
Miss Navajo Nation Pageant is cultural pageant, and the pageant has proven to represent the beauty of Navajo culture, language and tradition. In addition, Navajo elders, community members and children leave with a refreshing sense of Navajo pride. For over half a century, Miss Navajo Nation has provided a leader, a role model and an advocate for Navajo culture and language.
The Miss Navajo Nation Pageant competition categories has changed, the “Applause Competition” has evolve into a week-long competition. The Traditional and Contemporary Skills & Talent Competitions were introduced in 1980s. In 1996, the Sheep Butchering skill was incorporated to demonstrate a young lady’s knowledge of preparing traditional foods. The Office of Miss Navajo Nation can introduce new and exciting changes to the pageant competition. In 2016, the Fry Bread category was replaced it with Traditional Foods category.
The most important qualification for the Miss Navajo Nation Pageant is to be fluent speaking in the Navajo and English languages. The contestants must fill the requirements of having knowledge of the Navajo culture and tradition and passion to revitalizing our Navajo Philosophy. Miss Navajo Nation Pageant is a cultural pageant, unlike most beauty pageants throughout the world, the pageant emphasizes beauty “within” one’s self.