Arts and Crafts of the Southwest Indians (Navajos)

Ernest Kleinberg
Production Date: 
Ernest Kleinberg
Unknown male narrator
Run Time: 


To listen to an alternate Navajo narration of this film, press "play" on the film, mute the audio, and then press "play" on the audio file above. The narration is by Rhiannon Sorrell of Tsaile, Arizona.

Establishing shot:  Low angle shot of a Navajo man, medium close up in frame, wearing a yellow bandanna and an ornate silver and turquoise necklace.
Named locations: Arizona; New Mexico; Window Rock, Arizona; Pine Springs
Major themes covered: Overview of Navajo artisans
Native activities shown: Building a hogan. Sheepherding. Women working with rugs. Trading post activity.

Step by step presentation of sandcasting silverwork, from purchasing scrap silver, to mold creation, casting silver, and finishing work (00:01:58-00:04:22).  Sam Begay, silversmith.

Step by step presentation of Navajo rug weaving techniques. Includes setup of the outdoor vertical loom, harvesting of plants for dyes, preparing dye, carding wool, spinning yarn, coloring yarn, and weaving (00:04:23-00:07:33). Irene Yazzie, weaver.

Local trader (Sammie Day) looking at rugs and jewelry; Yazzies getting their pawn jewelry out; Yazzies leaving the trading post; Watching the white trader from Window Rock as he lands in a plane.

Individuals Named: Sam Begay (silversmith); Irene Yazzi (weaver); Luke Yazzi; Sammie Day (trader);
Native language spoken: No native languages spoken
Audible: Good quality English narration
Noteworthy elements: Good information about silversmithing process (Sam Begay)
Other notes: Weaving portion lists different native plants used to dye wool.

See also: Navajo Silversmith (

Michelle Boyer, 2011, Mikel Stone, 2012