The images I share with you today are of Navajo women, created on their sacred land in Monument Valley and Antelope Canyon. Their roots run deep in this most beautiful part of America. They are sincerely connected to their tribal traditions, regard Mother Earth as sacred and are the carriers of their tribe’s history.
Long before this land was called America, the “Dine” tribe thrived here. They had great respect for animals, water sources and Mother Earth’s soil. Before they were called Navajo, they called themselves Dine, meaning “The People.” This term is still taught to the young Navajo and used in their writings. They are incredibly strong people who survived the 350 mile “Long Walk” bare foot, in the snow. This horrific event took place over one hundred and fifty years ago. “Feels like yesterday” is the Navajo phrase attached to that historical event. Along their torturous route they were given blankets by sympathetic Mexicans. Men, women and children were marched from their homeland by US soldiers to a reservation in New Mexico. These tenacious people held their faith in the Great Spirit and persevered. Only a few years later American policy changed and the Navajo were free to leave their internment. By their own volition, they walked back by their to their sacred land, now known as monument Valley, and the land near Antelope Canyon.
The portraits below are of modern Navajo women. Even though they have computers, cell phones and Facebook accounts, they still holdfast to their responsibility to hand down their tribal history. They marry outside their clan but within their tribe, practice good stewardship of the sacred land and welcome strangers to their native inheritance.
These words and images are from my new book American Goddess. Here’s a link to my new online book store; where you can buy a copy for yourself and all the Goddesses in you tribe. www.newworldgoddess.com
Hope you have an abundant Thanksgiving and welcome strangers to your table.