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Crossing Between Worlds: The Navajos of Canyon de Chelly
Synopses & Reviews
The Navajo people of Canyon de Chelly must negotiate a delicate balance between the old and the new as they struggle to maintain their traditions in the midst of ongoing change. Because their hauntingly beautiful homeland in northeastern Arizona is also a popular national monument, canyon residents face a complex web of relationships with the National Park Service, archaeologists and anthropologists, and increasing numbers of tourists.
Jeanne Simonelli, an anthropologist who worked in the canyon as a seasonal park ranger for four years, has talked with the people of the Canyon de Chelly over the course of a decade. Here she interweaves the story of her personal experiences and friendships with canyon residents with discussions of local Navajo history and culture. Simonelli's warm and evocative text is complemented by Charles Winters's sensitive black-and-white photographs, which document the daily activities of some of the Navajo families of the canyon — shearing sheep, planting corn, acting as tour guides, and celebrating family birthdays.
Through text and images, Crossing Between Worlds offers outsiders an intimate view of the informal, domestic side of Navajo life in one of the most spectacular corners of the Southwest.
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