The Navajo Indians

The Navajo Indians

The Navajo Indians

The Navajo Indians

Excerpt

The material in this book is derived almost wholly from the Navajo Indians themselves, although all the available literature has been consulted and every stray reference run down. But the bulk of Navajo literature, scientific or otherwise, was written over forty years ago and is now either out of print or buried in the archives of libraries. It was therefore a matter of necessity, as well as of preference on the part of the authors, that the subject should be taken up anew, and our final authority has been the Indian himself.

The historical chapters, relating to early contacts with the whites and to relations with the Government through a period of sixty years, are based on the reports of agents and workers in the field to the Indian Bureau; and preference has been given to the views of those who knew the Navajos most intimately. All matters within the memory of living Indians have been referred to them.

But for the help of three men the authors would never have gained access to the hidden lore of the Navajos -- Nils Hogner, the artist-trader; Long Mustache, the wise old medicineman; and Louis Watchman, the skilled interpreter. In the guest-hohrahn at Klag-e-toh many chants were written down and the art and symbolism of sand-paintings and blankets explained in the greatest detail. The life stories of men and women were recorded year by year and, when the book was in final form, it was read back, word for word, to the Indians.

The purpose of this book is to make known the facts of Navajo custom and history and to record the cosmogony and religion of the Dineh' before they are altered or lost. The subjects of our research are the largest and most virile tribe in North America. Where other Indians have faded away before the white man, the Navajos have increased from eight thousand to forty-five thousand in sixty years. They have preserved their identity and their ancient mode of life, carry-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.