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No slide show of still photos but in time will insert some still photos.  Slowly I repair my blog. April 11 15. 

The still black and white photographs you will view under the DINE’ SAND SPRINGS/NAVAJO RESERVATION were scanned black and prints.  They were shot during the early 80’s when I had a summer job with the Navajo Tribe. I was a graduate student at UCLA.  Unfortunately, I do not have the original black and white negatives with me.  I was told the best result is to scan the negative and not the print, but I cannot do that. My negatives are back home at my folks in Phoenix, Arizona.  Even if I asked them to ship the negatives, they would not find them. Only I know where they are located.  In order for people to view these pictures, I had to scan the prints.

Sand Springs is located on the western side of the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.  I made a 16mm, 40 min. color film about my shima sani (mother’s mother) called NAVAJO TALKING PICTURE, which finished in 86.’  That was a difficult film to make.  The experience to shoot the stills of this community was entirely different.  It was more positive in that I was provided a guide, an Dine’ man who knew the people from the community.  We visited certain households.  With each household, he made a presentation in the Navajo language to the families and explained what I was doing, and then afterwards I took still photos of some of the families and the land. The pictures were to describe the community and the problems they had living under laws/rules governed by a decision made in the U.S.federal courts about the: “dispute through partition of the disputed land and large-scale relocation of Navajos.1”  Because the rulings governed how the Navajo people lived upon this land such as Sand Springs, the Navajo people could not really build or improve their lives.  Hopi Reservation is located within the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo people were caught in a trap and still are.  Some Dine’ people were forced to leave their homes when they lived in those places all their lives.  It is a long story of conflict.  In 1974 U.S. “Congress passed the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act, providing for equal partition of the JUA and the relocation of members of one tribe living on land partitioned to the other.2”  Dissension erupted between tribes and the federal government over the issues stemming from this conflict, but not between the traditional Dine’/Hopi peoples who lived on these lands.

These still photos were shot within 2 days.  A Navajo man who represented himself as a leader in the community, I remember how he organized all the Dine’ people he contacted to show up for the picture taking session such as to make a speech at the fence and to group together for a group shot. It happened on a dirt road where the fence was erected a few miles from the community.  Twenty or less people showed up. I was impressed he could organize fast. Such a good experience for a still photographer.  Too bad I could not experience this with the NAVAJO TALKING PICTURE.  That is another detailed story within itself.

1. Jerry Krammer, Second Long Walk, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1980), pp.IX.

2. Jerry Krammer, Second Long Walk, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1980), pp.XVI.

View & read blog article “Bahe Katenay of Big Mountain: US orchestrated so-called Navajo Hopi Land Dispute,” which describes this exact issue, except the area he talks about is Big Mountain on the Navajo Reservation.


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