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Title: The Beautiful and the Dangerous

Author(s): Barbara Tedlock (Author)

Barbara Tedlock, Zuni account of Frank Cushing

Tapping the image of the scalp pole, Joe said, “Did you know that way back in the 1880s, when that Whiteman called Kuushi (Frank Cushing) got initiated as a Bow Priest, he went out across Oak Wash to a Navajo hogan and took a scalp?” “What? ...

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Title: The Split at Oraibi: An Oraibi Account

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Chuka (Don C. Talayesva), Oraibi, July 1970 (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

A Hopi elder talks about how factions developed between the Hostiles and the Friendlies at Oraibi in 1906.

I can tell you exactly how it happened because I was involved in that business. I was about sixteen years old then. There was this group in Oraibi that was hostile to the whites. That was the problem. We all used to live peaceably together when I was...

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Title: Navajo Painting: Trading through Paint, Pencil, and Paper

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Use of sand paining and other art materials to depict ceremonial and daily life among the Navajo.

Navajo sand painting is a unique union of ceremony and art. Sand paintings, accompanied by healing songs, can restore a person to hozho. Hozho refers to balance, harmony, universal beauty, and health. A healer creates a sand painting on a hogan floor...

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Title: Navajo

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

Navajo history: early migration from Alaska and Canada to encounters with the Spanish and war with the United States; concludes with an account of contemporary Navajo life.

Traditional Navajo, or Diné, stories tell that First Man, First Woman, the Holy People, and all the animals had to pass through three different worlds before emerging into the Fourth or Glittering World. Here, the People saw four rivers bounded by f...

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Title: Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat: A Navaho Autobiography

Author(s): Walter Dyk (Author)

A detailed description by Walt Dyk of how prayers and songs were handed on, from father to (in this case) nephew.

That winter, while we lived on Black Mountain at Willows Coming Out, Who Has Mules came to our place. I was out herding. When I returned with the sheep towards evening he came out of the hogan and rode away. He’d been with my father all day; they m...

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Title: Desert Wife

Author(s): Hilda Faunce (Author)

Hilda Faunce writes about her life at a trading post before the first World War (1914-1918). In this passage, she describes a terrible smallpox epidemic on the reservation.

I never should have supposed I could be calm in a smallpox epidemic. It came upon us suddenly and almost immediately dozens of our friends and customers were dead. The Indians came to the post with their bodies covered with sores; they lay down o...

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Title: Desert Wife

Author(s): Hilda Faunce (Author)

An Anglo woman writes about her life on a trading post on the Navajo reservation before WW I.

I was glad enough for an excuse to go into a hogan and especially the Old Lady’s. I started right after breakfast. Ken said any hour at all was visiting hour for Indians, so it could be for me too. I had studied the outside of the Navajo homes from...

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Title: To the Country of the People

Source(s): Traders to the Navajo: The Story of the Wetherills at Kayenta

Author(s): Francis Gilmore (Author); Louisa Wade Wetherill (Author)

Louisa and John Wetherill open a trading post on the Navajo reservation in the early 1900s.

....[O]nce more Louisa heard the names of the places they had seen with a strange longing in her heart. A country where there were no white men. A country where the scattered hogans of the people were the only dwelling places. A country from whic...

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Title: Rugs for Trade or Cash

Source(s): Wide Ruins

Author(s): Sallie R. Wagner (Author)

Sallie Wagner writes of her days running a trading post with her husband on the Navajo reservation in the 1930s and 1940s.

When my husband and I bought the trading post, the Navajos in the area were making very poor rugs, the kind that were sold from knocked-together stands along Highway 66. The wool was not well cleaned or well spun. The bordered designs were the kind t...

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Title: Navajo Customs

Author(s): Roy Dunn (Author)

Brief descriptions of Navajo customs or “superstitions.”

A Navajo will never burn ants or insects of any kind. A Navajo will never whistle at night. A Navajo will never go near a burial or hogan (home) where someone has died. It is a very old superstition of the Navajos not to comb their hair at n...

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Results Found: 10