A Navajo Legacy: The Life and Teachings of John Holiday by John Holiday

By John Holiday

A shiny portrait of the lifetime of a standard twentieth-century Navajo medication man

For greater than 90 years, Navajo drugs guy John vacation has watched the solar upward thrust over the rock formations of his domestic in Monument Valley. At an early age, vacation all started an apprenticeship together with his grandfather to benefit the Blessingway rite, and as a formative years, he played rainmaking ceremonies and practiced healing.

vacation skilled the invasion of Monument Valley via whites and later participated within the early filmmaking undefined, operating with director John Ford and actor John Wayne. lifestyles within the wasteland was once rooted within the cattle and infrequently supplied just a hand-to-mouth lifestyles. vacation was once hired within the Thirties with the Civilian Conservation Corps, served a short stint within the army, mined uranium at the Navajo Reservation within the Nineteen Fifties, and labored at the railroad.

Robert S. McPherson interviewed vacation commonly to list his complete and engaging existence. vacation tells his grandparents tales of the lengthy stroll period, discusses attitudes concerning the land, relates Navajo non secular tales, and recounts his education as a medication man. A Navajo Legacy displays the ideas of a conventional practitioner who has present in lifestyles either attractiveness and classes for destiny generations.

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Extra info for A Navajo Legacy: The Life and Teachings of John Holiday

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There is always a lesson in everything he says, and his words are important. The Navajo language is very descriptive, drawing a picture as one speaks. English does not achieve the same kind of inner depth. John would at times describe a setting or person which implied much that needed to be brought out in the translation. When I tried to say it in English, it was hard to be accurate. I wanted to transcribe it to ensure this same feeling or what he saw was there, but it is difficult. Some words are strong in Navajo but cannot really be said in English.

He owned at least thirty-eight riding horses; I remember having that many feed bags for them. He used to buy a lot of grain and had at least twenty 100-pound bags of corn he purchased from Dennehotso. He would mix the two together and feed it to his horses each day. They were fat all year long, because he took care of them for his tour business. I remember father was away shoeing the horses and mules. He had a certain way to do this. He’d put a hood over the horse’s head and tie him very close to a post, then pull the leg out in the opposite direction.

The mesa had a flat top with a hole in the middle that was filled with sand, shrubs, and a thicket of tall trees. People drove the cattle, horses, mules, or donkeys to this ludden spot, slaughtered them, and hauled the meat down on packhorses. Nobody talked about this place, because it was to be kept hidden as a secret. ”See, it’s bad,” said my father. ” I was frightened by the story and stood there wide eyed and scared. When my father performed different ceremonies, he was paid in about everything, but most often it was jewelry and sheep.

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