Navajo (Diné)

Navajo Indians

Establishing shot: Navajo riders on horse back
Named locations:
Major themes covered
: portrait of tribal social life and courtship ritual
Native activities shown:  Daily life; Rug weaving; Social life; Courtship; Wedding customs. Sheepherding; Preparing food; Harvesting corn; Carding and spinning wool; Rug weaving; Trading for silverwork; Attending social dances; Constructing a hogan; Attending a wedding ceremony; Preparing a feast; Getting married

Navajo Indian Life

Establishing shot: view of Monument Valley, in the distance
Named locations: Arizona; Monument Valley; Colorado River; New Mexico.
Major themes covered: Silent film shows the world of the Navajo Indians in Northern Arizona, their work and leisure, children and adults
Native activities shown:  Riding a burro; Displaying jewelry; Posing for the camera; Preparing a cradleboard; Planting crops; Grinding corn; Preparing food; Eating a meal; Silversmithing.

Christian Reformed Church 1 (Outtakes)

Named locations: Church of the Nazarene, Twin Butte Mission; Bethany Christian Reformed Church, Gallup, New Mexico
Major themes covered: This footage is composed of random outtakes for a film titled, “His Way, with Shorty Benally.” The film appears to be a cautionary tale about the evils of alcoholism and the redemptive power of the Church.  This collection of outtakes contains multiple takes of different shots and scenes.

The Navajo Witch

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.

The Navajo (Part 1):"The Search for America"

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.

The Golden West

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.

Navajo Sandpainters

Establishing shot: Extreme long shot of the Navajo reservation. On screen right a scraggly desert tree can be seen, and in the background a large mountain (Navajo Mountain) can be seen in the center of the frame.
Named locations: Santa Fe, New Mexico; Navajo Mountain.
Major themes covered: The cultural significance of sandpaintings

Navajo Country

Establishing shot: Navajo man sits on frame left, brushing his hair with his fingers. In the background a mountainous range can be seen.
Named locations:  Southwestern United States; New Mexico; Arizona.

Navajo Children

Establishing shot:  Mountains covered with the last snow of winter. The high peaks of the mountain are to the left of the frame, to the right of the frame the beginning of a valley can be seen. More mountains can be seen in the background. This shot then cuts to grazing sheep.
Named locations: No named locations
Major themes covered: Overview of the Navajo people and their agricultural practices; moving between winter and summer hogans; transhumant seasonal activities.