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Large Puppet Lantern Procession, photograph by Erika Knecht

Large Puppet Lantern Procession, photograph by Erika Knecht

Join the Performing Arts program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on Thursday, May 2, at 8:15 pm, for the Large Puppet Lantern Procession performance and event. Performing Arts students will maneuver large puppets on poles and rolling platforms in a procession through the East side of the IAIA campus, starting at the IAIA Hogan and moving to the Performing Arts and Fitness Center.

The event is open to the public and includes an evening prayer, honor songs, and hoop dance. Participants are encouraged to bring hand drums.

About the Large Puppet Lantern Procession

Dr. Sheila Rocha (Pure’pecha), the Chair of the IAIA Performing Arts Department and Associate Professor, discussed with her upper-level PERF310 Puppetry course what story they would like to portray in the Spring semester of 2024. During the discussion, the students came to a consensus and decided to create a puppetry production that highlights the issue of genocide and stands up for the victims. The course acknowledges the struggles and survivance of Indigenous peoples here at home and around the world. The students turned their attention to the creation of large-scale illuminated puppets. All seven puppets are lit from within, each creating their own visual story of hope, perseverance, and endurance in the face of genocide.

Dr. Sheila Rocha, who teaches the PERF310 Puppetry course, along with the IAIA alumnus and sculptor Jazmin Novak (Navajo), observed parallels between the experiences of global peoples and Indigenous people in the US. Dr. Rocha said, “We appreciate any community support as we honor both the survivors and victims of genocide, with a particular call for peace for the Indigenous of worn-torn countries who are amid famine and eradication. We know well historically what they are going through and the level of trauma that is paralyzing generations of children. This event will be a ceremonial procession of visual story and prayer.”


Thu, May 2
8:15 pm–9:00 pm
Event Category:


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA)


Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Hogan
83 Avan Nu Po Road
Santa Fe, NM 87508 United States
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(505) 424-2300