Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Enduring Navaho

Author: Laura Gilpin

First line: To understand the Navaho People, even in small measure, it is essential to know at least some part of their symbolic ritual.

Why you should read this book: When a friend invited photographer Laura Gilpin on her rounds as a public nurse in Navajo Country in the early 1930s, she began a lifelong relationship with the indigenous people of the American southwest, documenting their lives on film for sixty years. Although her perspective remains that of an outsider and her cultural bias is evident, she connects with strangers through her photographs, which are intimate, honest, and appealing. The text weaves an overview of Gilpin's experiences with descriptions and explanations of Navajo beliefs, crafts, traditions, ceremonies, and government.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You'd rather learn what a Navajo person has to teach you about the Navajo way of life.

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