Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground

By Randolph Lewis | Go to book overview

NOTES

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1. See also my article on recent Navajo filmmakers as another complement to this book: “The New Navajo Cinema: Film and Nation in the Indigenous Southwest,” Velvet Light Trap 66 (Fall 2010): 50–61.

2. When I use this image, I am indebted to my friend Katie Stewart and her book A Space on the Side of the Road: Cultural Poetics in an “Other” America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996).


INTRODUCTION

1. Brenda Norrell and Carolyn Calvin, “Navajo Talking Picture Selected for French Film Festival” (1997), from a website devoted to Navajo issues: http:// www.yvwiiusdinvnohii.net/articles/nav-film.htm. A slightly different version of this article appeared in print as Carolyn Calvin, “Arlene Bowman: Navajo Filmmaker,” News from Indian Country, February 28, 1997, 1B.

2. Deirdre Evans-Pritchard, “Navajo Talking Picture” (review), SVA Newsletter, Summer 1987, 18.

3. Reviews quoted in the Women Make Movies catalog entry for the film. The distributor’s catalog is online at http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/ c277. shtml.

4. Les W. Field, “Dynamic Tensions in Indigenous Sovereignty and Representation: A Sampler,” American Ethnologist 30, no. 3 (2003): 45.

5. Navajo studies, broadly defined, is a small industry: a WorldCat database search of the word reveals 7,499 nonfiction books, excluding juvenile titles. A full WorldCat search of all titles containing the word “Navajo” produces a staggering 11,017 entries, which does not account for videos, CDS, and other media on the subject (such as the 372 videotapes or DVDS that are listed), nor relevant books that might not include the word “Navajo” in the title.

6. One example of the way that cinema is excluded from consideration as “Navajo art”: there is no mention of it in books that survey Navajo creativity, such as Jerry and Lois Jacka’s Enduring Traditions: Art of the Navajos (Flagstaff Az: Northland Press, 1994).

7. The literature on the commodification of Native culture is substantial and well worth reading. Among the most useful books are Leah Dilworth’s excellent Imaging Indians in the Southwest (Washington DC: Smithsonian Press, 1997), and Erika Marie Bsumek’s important study, Indian-Made: Navajo Culture in the Marketplace, 1868–1940 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2008). Another recent book on the subject that has been well received is Elizabeth Hutchinson, The Indian Craze: Primitivism, Modernism, and Transculturation in American Art, 1890–1915 (Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2009). An

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Navajo Talking Picture: Cinema on Native Ground
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Indicenous Films ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Series Editor’s Introduction xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Chapter One- A Brief History of Celluloid Navajos 1
  • Chapter Two- Navajo Filmmaker 49
  • Chapter Three- Reaction 72
  • Chapter Four- Intent 88
  • Chapter Five- Ethics 105
  • Chapter Six- Native Ground 124
  • Chapter Seven- Final Thoughts 161
  • Navajo Talking Picture Production and Distribution Information 175
  • Notes 177
  • Further Reading 209
  • Index 211
  • In the Indicenous Films Series 216
  • Other Works by Randolph Lewis 217
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