Dine Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought

Dine Perspectives: Revitalizing and Reclaiming Navajo Thought

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What does it mean to be a Navajo (Diné) person today? What does it mean to “respect tradition”? How can a contemporary life be informed by the traditions of the past? These are the kinds of questions addressed by contributors to this unusual and pathbreaking book.
All of the contributors are coming to personal terms with a phrase that underpins the matrix of Diné culture: Sa’ah Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón. Often referred to simply as SNBH, the phrase can be translated in many ways but is generally understood to mean “one’s journey of striving to live a long, harmonious life.” The book offers a variety of perspectives of Diné men and women on the Diné cultural paradigm that is embedded in SNBH. Their writings represent embodied knowledge grounded in a way of knowing that connects thought, speech, experience, history, tradition, and land. Some of the contributors are scholars. Some are Diné who are fighting for justice and prosperity for the Navajo Nation. Some are poets and artists. They are united in working to preserve both intellectual and cultural sovereignty for Diné peoples. And their contributions exemplify how Indigenous peoples are creatively applying tools of decolonization and critical research to re-create Indigenous thought and culture in a present day that rarely resembles the days of their ancestors.
More than 300,000 people self-identify as Diné today. Every one must grapple with how to make a life that acknowledges Sa’ah Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón. Diné Perspectives is unique in bringing such personal journeys to the public eye.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816530922
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 05/08/2014
Series: Critical Issues in Indigenous Studies Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Lloyd L. Lee is an assistant professor in the Native American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. He is also the book review editor for the journal American Indian Quarterly. Lee is Diné of the Towering House and Red Bottom clans. His maternal grandfather clan is Salt and his paternal grandfather clan is Water’s Edge.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Foreword Gregory Cajete ix

Preface xiii

Introduction 3

American Indian Scholars Shawn L. Secatero 14

Part I Frameworks of Understanding

Beneath Our Sacred Minds, Hands, and Hearts: One Dissertation Journey Shawn L. Secatero 19

Understanding Hózhó to Achieve Critical Consciousness: A Contemporary Diné Interpretation of the Philosophical Principles of Hózhó Vincent Werito 25

Morning Offerings, Like Salt Esther Belin 39

7pm thought, memory @ Dzilnaodilthle-Eastern View Venaya Yazzie 44

Part II Analyses of Methodologies

Diné Culture, Decolonization, and the Politics of Hózhó Larry W. Emerson 49

The Value of Oral History on the Path to Diné/Navajo Sovereignty Jennifer Nez Denetdale 68

Narrating Ordinary Power: Hózhóójí, Violence, and Critical Diné Studies Melanie K. Yazzie 83

The Boy Who Threw the World Away Venaya Yazzie 100

Part III Political Challenges

Historic and Demographic Changes That Impact the Future of the Diné and the Development of Community-Based Policy Yolynda Begay 105

The Origin of Legibility: Rethinking Colonialism and Resistance among the Navajo People, 1868-1937 Andrew Curley 129

Dinétah Venaya Yazzie 151

Part IV Paths for the Future

Sustaining a Diné Way of Life Kim Baca 155

"If I Could Speak Navajo, I'd Definitely Speak It 24/7": Diné Youth Language Consciousness, Activism, and Reclamation of Diné Identity Tiffany S. Lee 158

The Navajo Nation and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Lloyd L. Lee 170

Atmosphere Venaya Yazzie 187

Contributors 189

Index 195


Native American studies

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