Suggested Reading List
Dine Bahane: The Navajo Creation Story
Author: Zolbrod, Paul G
Description: This is the most complete version of the Navajo creation story to appear in English since Washington Matthews' Navajo Legends of 1847. Zolbrod's new translation renders the power and delicacy of the oral storytelling performance on the page through a poetic idiom appropriate to the Navajo oral tradition. Zolbrod's book offers the general reader a vivid introduction to Navajo culture. For students of literature this book proposes a new way of looking at our literary heritage.
Diné: A History of the Navajos
Author: Iverson, Peter; Roessel, Monty
Description: This comprehensive narrative traces the history of the Navajos from their origins to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Based on extensive archival research, traditional accounts, interviews, historic and contemporary photographs, and firsthand observation, it provides a detailed, up-to-date portrait of the Diné past and present that will be essential for scholars, students, and interested general readers, both Navajo and non-Navajo.
Native Roads : The Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations
Author: Kosik, Frank
Description: Using the mile markers of the US, Arizona, and Navajo highways and routes running through the Navajo and Hopi nations as her organizing principle, the author offers a travel guide to the sites found in the area. Natural, historical, and cultural points of interest are covered, along with some information on lodging and services. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR 304pp
Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life
Author: Kristofic, Jim
Description: Just before starting second grade, Jim Kristofic moved from Pittsburgh across the country to Ganado, Arizona, when his mother took a job at a hospital on the Navajo Reservation. Navajos Wear Nikes reveals the complexity of modern life on the Navajo Reservation, a world where Anglo and Navajo coexisted in a tenuous truce. After the births of his Navajo half-siblings, Jim and his family moved off the Reservation to an Arizona border town where they struggled to readapt to an Anglo world that no longer felt like home.
With tales of gangs and skinwalkers, an Indian Boy Scout troop, a fanatical Sunday school teacher, and the author's own experience of sincere friendships that lead to ho'zho' (beautiful harmony), Kristofic's memoir is an honest portrait of growing up on--and growing to love--the Reservation. 230pp.
People of Chaco: A Canyon and Its Culture
Author: Frazier, Kendrick
Description: "[W]ritten in the best tradition of the science writer and the mystery writer. . . . [A] breathtaking piece of work."—Jake Page, Washington Times Library Journal
The intermittent Chaco Wash has cut a broad canyon through northwestern New Mexico. Its natural beauty is surpassed only by the many prehistoric ruins it contains, which were built by the Chacoan Anasazi, the ancestors of the modern Pueblo Indians. About 1000 years ago, the Chacoans constructed multistory residences, established an extensive road system, exercised cultural hegemony over a large region in the southwestern United States, and then suddenly left. Frazier skillfully recounts the fascinating story of Chaco Canyon. He describes its discovery and exploration, its role in the development of American archaeology, and the clues it contains about a unique cultural system. This thorough, balanced, and engrossing work is a delight for all students of the prehistoric Southwest. Gordon C. Tucker, Jr., Nickens and Assocs., Montrose, Col. 261pp
Roadside Geology of Arizona
Author: Chronic, Halka
Description: The 18th printing of this book in the Roadside Geology Series offers a mini-course in geology, focusing on what can be seen from Arizona highways. Although written especially for those with little or no geologic training, there's plenty here for the professional geologist as well--a great introduction to Arizona and its past. Geologic terms are defined where first used and again in the glossary. Inside the front cover is a legend to geological symbols and abbreviations commonly used by geologists.
Warriors: Navajo Code Talkers
Author: Kawano, Kenji
Description: The American offensive in the Pacific during World War II [was] hampered by the Japanese ability to crack the most secret U.S. Codes. Navajo was virtually unknown outside the reservations, ... and [their] code proved uncrackable. Kenji Kawano's striking photographs capture the quiet dignity of the surviving veterans as they recall their actions --Los Angeles Times 128 pp