Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Navajo Literature

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a lengthy mail on the state of Navajo literature in response to my earlier blog on the subject "Grammar is Fun." Simon D. Tapaha wrote to inform me that Navajo literature is alive and well, and I herewith pass on his suggestions for understanding Navajo culture via Navajo people themselves.
Irvin Morris has written a work called "From the Glittering World" which includes traditional Navajo stories. Poet Luci Tapahonso has also written a body of work from the Navajo world view.
Simon encourages us: "Reading Native culture is not black and white. We have special significance for everything we do. To understand these significances one has to have some knowledge of the respective language the literature is coming from. Read Native cultures with an open mind, patience and sensitivity."
Simon has also recommended a look at the book "Indigenizing the Academy" by Angela Cavender Wilson and Devon Abbott Mihesuah for those who are interested in Native and non-Native academic interaction.
My thanks to Simon for putting me in touch with where to begin with Navajo literature.

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