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The Navajos encountered here live according to the traditions of a livestock economy, where religious values provide the core philosophy and where the world is imbued with spiritual significance. The land -- the rugged canyon, mesa, and mountain terrain of the Four Corners region (where Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico meet) -- is of fundamental importance. The Navajos' dependence on the land, and their love for it, pervades their accounts of life in this desert country.
During the twentieth century, as the dominant white culture increasingly affected their worldview, these Navajos adjusted to change, took what they perceived as beneficial, and shaped or filtered outside influences to preserve traditional values. With guidance from Navajo elders, McPherson describes varied experiences ranging from traditional deer hunting to livestock reduction, from bartering at a trading post to acting in John Ford movies, and from the coming of the automobile to the burgeoning of the tourist industry. Clearly written and richly detailed, this book offers new perspectives on a people who have adapted to new conditions while shaping their own destiny.
|List of Illustrations|
|Ch. 1||Prologue to the Present: Setting the Stage for the Twentieth Century||3|
|Ch. 2||Navajo and Ute Deer Hunting: Consecration versus Desecration||21|
|Ch. 3||Government Farmers and the Navajos: The San Juan Experience, 1892-1933||44|
|Ch. 4||Naalyehe Ba Hooghan, "House of Merchandise": Navajo Trading Posts as an Institution of Cultural Change, 1900-1930||65|
|Ch. 5||The Chidi and Flying Metal Come to the Navajos: Thoughts on Technology and Initial Cultural Contact||84|
|Ch. 6||History Repeats Itself: Navajo Livestock Reduction in Southeastern Utah, 1933-1946||102|
|Ch. 7||Seeing as Believing: Navajo and Anglo Perceptions of Tourism in Southeastern Utah, 1910-1990||121|
|Ch. 8||Indians Playing Indians: Navajos and the Film Industry in Monument Valley, 1938-1964||142|
|Ch. 9||Digging the Bones of Yeiitsoh: Navajos in the Uranium Industry of Southeastern Utah||158|
|Ch. 10||Poverty, Politics, and Petroleum: The Utah Navajos and the Aneth Oil Field||179|
|Ch. 11||From Dezba to "John": The Changing Role of Navajo Women in Southeastern Utah||189|
|Ch. 12||Conclusion: A Glance at the Present, a Glimpse of the Future||220|