Disclaimer: The narrator claims that the Navajo came from the Gobi Desert and look like Mongols. Fictionalized names and melodic references engage stereotypes of the day. The narration for this film is very racist: generally condescending in tone and full of misinformation about Navajo culture. All of this is told in in light and joking manner; even the narrator is presented as a humorous caricature of a “Wild West” settler rather than a real person.
Establishing shot: Camera zooms out from aerial shot of a hogan and then pans a canyon before cutting to an extreme long shot of a desert landscape.
Edited by: Dan Lovins
Consultants: Dr Ralph Patrick, Research Associate, Washington University; John Adair, Anthropology, Cornell University; Larry Moore, Community Services, Navajo Tribe; and Evon Z. Vogt, Anthropology, Harvard University.
Establishing shot: Camera fades into a black and white Steenback viewer with a man working on a film reel. The camera tracks this man (Hartzell) as he approaches Dr. Patrick.
NOTE: This film contains demeaning language and may not be suitable for all viewers. It reflects stereotypes of Native peoples prevalent in the 1940s. Its attitudes are not those of the American Indian Film Gallery.
Named locations: Window Rock, Arizona
Major themes covered: Economic and social conditions on the Navajo Reservation.
Photography: Avalon Daggett
Establishing shot: Full frame map of the United States, which then cuts to a close up of different states (including New York, Arizona, and New Mexico)
Named locations: America; Northern Arizona; New Mexico.
Photography: Avalon Daggett
Establishing shot: Arizona desert landscape (using deep space). Large mountain range in the background, flat plain with some foliage in the mid-ground, with a small tree in the right foreground. This frame then dissolves into a city scene.
Named locations: Southwest; Northeastern Arizona; Painted Desert, Arizona;
Major themes covered: Daily life of the Hopi
Establishing shot: Opens with narrator John Stephenson introducing the film. Stephenson walks into the frame from the left, and when he reaches center the camera zooms in at a mid-close-up.
Warning: This film presents ancient and modern Native cultures as indistinguishable. Much visual content is incorrect and reflects the mainstream cultural biases of its time. The narrator's language is condescending and culturally insensitive.
Establishing shot: Camera centers on a man in a cowboy hat leading a horse towards the camera. A flowing waterfall can be seen behind the horse, as well as several tall trees, and a path leading to the river.
Named locations: Cataract Canyon, Arizona; Post Office of Supai, Arizona (sign 4m 28s);
Major themes covered: The daily life of the Supai Indian.