El Navajo

Production Date: 
A Telefilm Recording
Unknown male narrator
Run Time: 
Santa Fe Railroad

Establishing shot: Navajo riders on horseback silhouetted by sunrise
Named locations:Gallup, New Mexico; Window Rock, Arizona; St. Michael Mission; Ganado Mission; Hubble’s Trading Post, Ganado, AZ.

Major themes covered: An intimate look at Navajo daily life and culture, presented to appeal to an Anglo audience in order to promote tourism.

Native activities shown:  Sheepherding and animal husbandry (wool shearing, butchering, skinning); Rug weaving (the process is shown from raw wool to finished product); Moccasin making; preparing food; Visiting the trading post; Farming; Silversmithing; Conducting a sweat; Performing a men’s Shooting Way Chant (the process is filmed from blessing the hogan, to constructing the sandpainting, performance of the sing itself, and destruction of the sandpainting).

Individuals Named: 
Native language spoken:
Songs in Navajo played as background music; Navajo is overdubbed on footage of a wedding ceremony; Navajo is overdubbed on footage of a medicine man as he prepares for a ceremonial sing and builds a sandpainting.
Noteworthy elements:  Some condescending language typical of the period of its making.

--MIkel Stone, 2012