Robert S. McPherson is Professor of History at Utah State University–Eastern, Blanding Campus. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books on Navajo history and the history of the Southwest, including Under the Eagle: Samuel Holiday, Navajo Code Talker (with Samuel Holiday) and Viewing the Ancestors: Perceptions of the Anaasází, Mokwic, and Hisatsinom.
Navajo Land, Navajo Culture: The Utah Experience in the Twentieth Centuryby Robert S. McPherson
The Navajos encountered here live according to the
In Navajo Land, Navajo Culture, Robert S. McPherson presents an intimate history of the Dine, or Navajo people, of southeastern Utah. Moving beyond standard history by incorporating Native voices, the author shows how the Dine's culture and economy have both persisted and changed during the twentieth century.
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.
- University of Oklahoma Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.38(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.93(d)
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