Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948 by Will Evans

By Will Evans

Will Evans's writings should still discover a precise area of interest within the small yet major physique of literature from and approximately investors to the Navajos. Evans was once the owner of the Shiprock buying and selling corporation. most likely greater than such a lot of his fellow investors, he had a powerful curiosity in Navajo tradition. the hassle he made to checklist and proportion what he realized definitely was once strange. He released within the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and different periodicals, compiling a lot of his items right into a publication manuscript. His topics have been Navajos he knew and traded with, their tales of old occasions akin to the lengthy stroll, and outlines in their tradition as he, an intruder with no educational education, understood it. Evans's writings have been coloured by means of his fondness for, unusual entry to, and friendships with Navajos, and through who he used to be: a dealer, folks artist, and Mormon. He safely portrayed the operations of a buying and selling submit and knew either the cloth and creative price of Navajo crafts. His artwork was once quite often encouraged via Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, without doubt, occasionally misappropriated that sacred paintings to color surfaces and gadgets of all types. As a Mormon, he had specific perspectives of who the Navajos have been and what they believed and was once consultant of a giant classification of often-overlooked investors. a lot of the Navajo exchange within the 4 Corners sector and farther west used to be operated by means of Mormons. that they had an important old function as intermediaries, or agents, among local and eu American peoples during this a part of the West. good hooked up on the heart of that international, Evans was once a very good spokesperson.

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Extra resources for Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948

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At one point, while discussing the culture, Evans writes, “Navajos do not have double standards of morality. ” This is difficult to understand, given his depth of knowledge of Navajo practices. The entire Navajo universe is saturated with laws and penalties established by the Holy Beings. Indeed, the ceremonies and sandpaintings with which he was so fascinated were performed or created because of a transgression of one of these laws. What Evans fails to recognize because of his own belief system is that Navajo religion emphasizes a different set of values that, given their basic teachings, is just as “correct” and rational as his own.

During her stint as a trader, she collected over 450 sandpaintings, many of which today reside in the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian. 65 Whether Will and Franc ever compared notes is not recorded. But she certainly shared a common acquaintance: Lucy G. Bloomfield, whose husband, George, ran the Toadlena Post and served in the Young Stake Lamanite Mission with Evans. Lucy wrote the foreword to Hosteen Klah. Evans, like Newcomb, was embroiled in the business of the trading post yet spent hundreds of hours on his “avocation” of interviewing and recording Navajo life stories, historical events, and cultural insight.

46 A number of similarities served, in Evans’s mind, as proof of this history. The creation of the four worlds that occurred before and beneath this world, according to the Navajo account, was similar to what was described in Genesis and the Latter-day Saint scripture entitled the Pearl of Great Price. The correlations included the placement of the heavenly bodies by a number of Holy Beings; the separation of waters and appearance of land; the creation of plant life, animals, and man; and a snake that walked and talked like a person.

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