One of the most exciting weeks in Indian Country is almost upon us. “Rock Your Mocs” (RYM) Week 2016 is November 13-19.
A Successful Kick-Off Event
The sixth annual “Rock Your Mocs” celebration kicked off with an event hosted by Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico this Sunday, November 13.
The festivities included:
- a meet-and-greet with RYM Founder Laguna Pueblo member Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye
- a performance by the White Mountain Apache Crown Dancers
- artisan and crafts vendors
- a moccasin-making demonstration
- a moccasin “Grand Entry”
“Rock Your Mocs” Week
Anyone can participate in “Rock Your Mocs” week by wearing moccasins between November 13 and November 19 and posting a photo on social media using the hashtags #RYM2016 or #RockYourMocs.
A turquoise ribbon can be worn in lieu of moccasins by those who wish to celebrate but who do not have a pair.
This year, many events — including moccasin-making workshops, fitness fun runs in moccasins and educators creating lesson plans — will take place across the country.
ICTMN will post our annual RYM Round-Up at the end of November of what we think are some of the best RYM photos from around the world across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Rock Your Mocs was founded by Laguna Pueblo member Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye in 2010 with a simple premise: wear moccasins to celebrate the cultures of Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples one day a year.
"When someone asks you, 'What do your shoes represent?' or 'What's the story behind your moccasins?' there can be endless descriptions," Atsye explained in a 2013 interview with Associated Press. "They show who you are. They're an identifier. They can bring unity."
This overwhelming international popularity of the celebration of Native Pride resulted in it being expanded to a week last year. RYM honors National Native American Heritage Month in the United States and encourages indigenous peoples across Turtle Island and in other parts of the world to celebrate their own cultures as well.
“I am amazed to how ‘Rock Your Mocs’ Day has evolved during the past five years,” Atsye said in a release last year. “I wanted to find a way to proudly represent my culture and heritage during National Native American Heritage month. I am thrilled to see how the event has quickly grown into a worldwide initiative to celebrate native and indigenous cultures, and more importantly, how it has helped to unify Native cultures and create pride in their ancestry.”
Rock Your Mocs stands with Standing Rock and an an announcement will be forthcoming about ways to add support through RYM social media photos.
Follow ICTMN Correspondent Lisa J. Ellwood on Twitter at www.twitter.com/IconicImagery