Monday, October 5, 2009

A visit to the Navajo Nation

I want to share more photos and memories from my visit to the Navajo Nation.
Here is the infamous Monument Valley-- this is a such an awesome place!
You can almost see the DUKE, John Wayne riding off toward those buttes.

Monument Valley

Here is another bird that we saw plenty of, the Raven


mirage


OH THE beautiful rugs we saw-- this one hangs in the gift shop at Monument Valley at the View Point Lodge--I hate to think that this craft could be dead within the next generation! Not many of the young Navajo women are interested in learning how to weave--this modern world holds little fascination with the patience necessary to learn this time consuming but beautiful craft.


Navajo rug

We did check out the gift shop & we saw these colorful Kachina Dolls sitting in the window with the Valley as a backdrop. There is a Navajo ceremony upcoming, its always held after the first frost...when the YEI (Navajo Deity) are called upon...the ceremony last 9 days and is called a Yei Be Chey-- the singers will ask to be renewed and have the evil of this modern world washed off them. I hope it works!
Maybe there will be Kachina Dancers there!

kachinas in the window

While on the Navajo Reservation I found the people --the Dine' --to be hard working, very close with family, extremely friendly and helpful. They are not into materialism they live humbly and simply in small dwellings that are comfortable and serve the purpose every home serves. Here is a typical roadside stand where one can purchase hand made crafts and meet the artist at the same time. The price is very reasonable, and I know that my purchase goes straight into the hands of the family this artisan supports!

shopping spree

I would much rather support the locals than the pricy gift shops. We stopped at the historic Shonto trading post. It's a very small very old "mercantile" with a general store and post office combination, they also sell gas from one old pump. Outside there are dogs laying in the shade to greet us and we enjoyed talking with a couple of Navajo Tribal EMS workers who came to fill up the ambulance, I was able to "talk shop" with them, and I enjoyed that very much! They have the opposite problem of what we had in NYC when I was working as a paramedic there. We were always within 5 minutes of the call since our system was laid out in a grid and well covered. The Navajo Tribal EMS...said they have never been asked "what took you so long?" They cover a grid of over 100 square miles each!!

Shonto Trading Post

This young artist is holding the art I purchased from him! Its fantastic...he sits on the South Rim of Canyon DeChelly (pronounced DeShay) and paints and sells to tourists such as me! He said he is allowed to collect the rock he paints on below the White House Ruins--an ancient Cliff Dwelling that we saw from the South Rim of the Canyon....I will save for another post!

Navajo artist

Have a wonderful day friends!

3 comments:

  1. Great post of your visit there Dixxe. The scenery is stunning. That rug really is a work of art, and must have been good to be able to meet the artists selling their work; and the shop talk with the ambulance crew. ;)

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  2. Great shots! I really like the very clever one of the Kachina Dolls. You used to be able to park your RV right in front of the Mittens - just a beautiful spot!

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  3. Thank you Keith....I hope one day you can visit the great Southwest You will be smitten by it as I am.

    HI Diana, I DID see a few RV's parked down below on a ridge overlooking the Mittens---I thought that was wonderful seeing as how they charge a hefty $194 a night in the View Hotel!...OUCH--we stayed in Kanyenta not too far away. I hope you are having an awesome time on Lake Powell!!

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