assume your guest is tired, cold,
and hungry and act accordingly.
There is nothing as eloquent
as a rattlesnake's tail."
came with the Bible in one hand
and the gun in the other.
First they stole gold.
Then they stole the land.
Then they stole our souls."
The Dineh (Navajo),
together with the Apache, constitute the southern branch of the Athapascan linguistic
family, living in New Mexico, Arizona, western Texas, southeastern Colorado, Utah,
and in northern Mexico. The earliest recorded mention of the Dineh (Navajo) is
in 1629, when white settlers from Mexico moved among them. A revolution in the
Dineh economy occurred with the introduction of sheep, raised for food, clothing,
and commerce. Peace treaties with the white man in 1846 and 1849 were not observed
and Colonel Kit Carson invaded Dine territory in 1863 to stop Dineh incursions.
He killed large numbers of their sheep and also captured the greater part of the
tribe as prisoners and sent them to Fort Sumner and Redondo on the Rio Pecos in
New Mexico. In 1867, after the Civil War, the Dine nation was restored to its
homeland. They continue to live in peace and prosperity with the growth of their
flocks and income from the sale of their famous Dine (Navajo) blankets. In addition,
the Dineh tribe has attracted great attention from writers, artists, sculptors
and choreographers because of their colourful culture.
"The Dineh (Navajos) are intensely religious," wrote Edward S. Curtis,
whose twenty-volume study of The North American Indian was published between 1907
and 1930. Colorful expressions of their religious life are found in the many ceremonies
performed by their medicine men.
Dineh (Navajo) Wind
Oh, Great Spirit, Oh Grandfathers,
How lucky can one be to know such beauty?
One can search the world over
And not find this much loveliness.
Her heart is pure,
and radiates love and warmth.
Oh, Mother Earth, It is from your womb that she does come.
It has to be, for she reflects your beauty that I see all around me.
Oh, Navajo Wind, blow
softly upon this desert rose.
Embrace her always with your warm gentle breezes.
Fill her heart with the pride and happiness
From a proud and noble people that she does come.
Whisper soft reminders in her ear,
"Never forget... Never forget."
Oh, Father, the Navajo Sun,
Shine brightly down upon her path,
Allow her to see the beauty in herself as well as in others.
Protect her and keep her warm.
Hide her in your absence from the despares of this life.
Allow her always to walk in beauty.
Oh, Woman who walks
in beauty like the night,
I am a friend who is distant and silent.
I will care for you always.
About 1966 or so, a
NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission took the astronauts near Tuba
City. There the terrain of the Navajo Reservation looks very much like the lunar
surface. Among all the trucks and large vehicles were two large figures that
were dressed in full lunar spacesuits.
Nearby a Navajo sheep
herder and his son were watching the strange creatures walk about, occasionally
being tended by other NASA personnel. The two Navajo people were noticed and
approached by the NASA personnel. Since the man did not know English, his son
asked him who the strange creatures were. The NASA people told them that they
were just men that were getting ready to go to the moon. The man became very
excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
The NASA personnel
thought this was a great idea so they rustled up a tape recorder. After the
man gave them his message, they asked his son to translate. His son would not.
Later, they tried a
few more people on the reservation to translate and every person they asked
would chuckle and then refuse to translate. Finally, with cash in hand someone
translated the message,
out for these guys, they come to take your land."
Ways of Knowledge: Sources of Life, Anna
Lee Walters, Peggy V. Beck,
Community College Press.
Main Stalk : A Synthesis of Navajo Philosophy, John
R. Farella, Univ of Arizona Press.
Is My Mother, Sky Is My Father:
Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting,
Griffin-Pierce, Univ of New Mexico Press.
Wind in Navajo Philosophy, James Kale McNeley, Univ of Arizona
Bahane : The Navajo Creation Story, Paul Zolbrod (Translator),
of New Mexico Press.
the Beginning: The Navajo Genesis, Jerrold E. Levy, Univ. California
and Art in the Navajo Universe, Gary Witherspoon, Univ. Michigan
Folk Tales, Franc Johnson Newcomb, Paul Zolbrod , Univ. New Mexico
Legends, Washington Matthews (Editor), Grace McNeley, Univ. Utah
Twins and Spider Woman and Other Navajo Creation Stories (Cassette),
- Geri Keams
(Navajo), Caedmon Audio Cassette
Navajo Atlas: Environments, Resources, Peoples, and History of the Diné
M. Goodman, Mary E. Goodman, Univ. Oklahoma Press
the Glittering World: A Navajo Story, Irvin Morris (Navajo),
Univ. Oklahoma Press
in the Image of Changing Woman: Navajo Views on the Human Body and Personhood,
Trudelle Schwarz, Univ. Arizona Press. (Hardcover)
Nightway: A History and a History of Documentation of a Navajo Ceremonial,
C. Faris, Univ. New Mexico Press
Medicine Man Sandpaintings, Gladys Amanda Reichard, Dover Pub.
of the Navajo Shooting Chant, Franc J. Newcomb, Gladys A. Reichard,
Woman: A Story of Navajo Weavers and Chanters , Gladys Amanda
- New Mexico
Navajo Eyes: An Exploration in Film Communication and Anthropology,
- Sol Worth,
John Adair, Univ. New Mexico Press
Among the Navajo: Traditional Lifeways on the Reservation,
Eckles Hooker, Helen Lau Running (Photographer) , Museum of New Mexico Press
Sacred Places, Klara Bonsack Kelley, Harris Francis, Indiana
Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations,
Kosik, George Hardeen, Creative Solutions Pub.
Wetherill : Life With the Navajos in Chaco Canyon, Marietta Wetherill,
Kathryn Gabriel (Editor), Univ. New Mexico Press.
Ruins: Memories from a Navajo Trading Post, Sallie Wagner, Univ.
New Mexico Press.
from Wide Ruins: Jean and Bill Cousins, Traders, Jean Cousins,
Mary Tate Engels (Editor), Texas Tech. Univ. Press.
to the Ground : One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land
of the Navajo
Preston, Univ of New Mexico Press.
Guide Book to Highway 66, Jack D. Rittenhouse, Univ of New Mexico
and Range, John McPhee, Noonday Press.
Country : A Geology and Natural History of the Four Corners Region,
Donald Baars, Univ. New Mexico Press.
Colorado Plateau : A Geologic History, Donald L. Baars, Univ
of New Mexico Press.
Geology of New Mexico, Halka Chronic, Mountain Press.
Mexico Atlas & Gazetteer, DeLorme Publishing.
on Navajo Rug Weaving
Burst of Brilliance: Germantown, Pennsylvania, and Navajo Weaving
Winegrad, Lucy Fowler Williams, Joe Ben Wheat (Contributors),
Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.
Guide to Navajo Weaving, Kent McManis and Robert Jeffries, Treasure
Pictorial Weaving, 1880-1950, Tyrone Campbell, Joel Kopp, Kate
Univ. of New Mexico Press.
Rugs: How to Find, Evaluate, Buy & Care for Them, Don Dedera,
Textiles : The William Randolph Hearst Collection, Nancy J. Blomberg,
Univ. of Arizona Press.
Weaving: Three Centuries of Change, Kate Kent, School of American
Weaving Tradition: 1650 to the Present, Alice Kaufman, Christopher
Council Oak Distribution.
Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs, Marian E. Rodee, Univ. of New Mexico
of the Weaver's World: The Gloria F. Ross Collection of Contemporary Navajo
- Ann Lane
Hedlund, Denver Art Museum.
and Posts: The Story of Navajo Weaving and Indian Trading, H.
L. James, Schiffer Pub.
Song of the Loom: New Traditions in Navajo Weaving, Frederick
Hudson Hills Press.
a Navajo Blanket, Gladys Amanda Reichard, Dover Pubs.
a World: Textiles and the Navajo Way of Seeing,
S. Willink and Paul G. Zolbrod, Museum of New Mexico Press.
by the Grandmothers:
Nineteenth-Century Navajo Textiles from the National Museum of the American
H. Bonar (Editor), Smithsonian Institution
by Luci Tapahonso
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