Reclaiming Din� History The Legacies of Navajo Chief Manuelito and Juanita

ISBN-10: 0816526605

ISBN-13: 9780816526604

Edition: 2007

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Description:

In this groundbreaking book, the first Navajo to earn a doctorate in history seeks to rewrite Navajo history. Reared on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, Jennifer Nez Denetdale is the great-great-great-granddaughter of a well-known Navajo chief, Manuelito (18161894), and his nearly unknown wife, Juanita (18451910). Stimulated in part by seeing photographs of these ancestors, she began to explore her family history as a way of examining broader issues in Navajo historiography. Here she presents a thought-provoking examination of the construction of the history of the Navajo people (Din, in the Navajo language) that underlines the dichotomy between Navajo and non-Navajo perspectives on the Din past. Reclaiming Din History has two primary objectives. First, Denetdale interrogates histories that privilege Manuelito and marginalize Juanita in order to demonstrate some of the ways that writing about the Din has been biased by non-Navajo views of assimilation and gender. Second, she reveals how Navajo narratives, including oral histories and stories kept by matrilineal clans, serve as vehicles to convey Navajo beliefs and values. By scrutinizing stories about Juanita, she both underscores the centrality of womens roles in Navajo society and illustrates how oral tradition has been used to organize social units, connect Navajos to the land, and interpret the past. She argues that these same stories, read with an awareness of Navajo creation narratives, reveal previously unrecognized Navajo perspectives on the past. And she contends that a similarly culture-sensitive re-viewing of the Din can lead to the production of a Navajo-centered history.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 6/1/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

List of Figures
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Recovering Dine Intellectual Traditions: At the Intersection of History and Oral Tradition; Or, "It's Hard Work Traipsing Around in Indian Country"
A Biographical Account of Manuelito: Noble Savage, Patriotic Warrior, and American Citizen
The Imperial Gaze: Portraits of Juanita and Manuelito, 1868-1902
Stories of Asdzaa Tl'ogi: Dine Traditional Narratives as History
Stories in the Land: Navajo Uses of the Past
Conclusion
Genealogical Charts
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Figure Credits
Index
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