Journey Of Navajo Oshley
An Autobiography and Life History
Publication Year: 2000
Published by: Utah State University Press
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Writing acknowledgments for the beginning of a book at the end of the process is enjoyable for three reasons. First, it is an opportunity to go back to the inception of the work and retrace the various steps that led to its completion. In this case, approximately ten years elapsed from start to finish. Perhaps that is entirely too long, but I hope...
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The force of this book lies in its insider’s portrayal of everyday Navajo life in one of the West’s most culturally dynamic areas: the so-called “Four Corners,” where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet. While that distinctive spot—the only place in the United States where four states intersect—is clearly visible on today’s maps, the fascinating...
Genesis of the Project
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Not too long ago in the center of Blanding, Utah, there stood the“half-a-house.” Located just east of the post office, the wooden frame structure, covered with a veneer of gray stucco cement, sat as the only Navajo home in the midst of a white community. A woodpile next to the east-facing door, a few windows that peered out on manicured lawns to the north...
The Life of Navajo Oshley
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I was born at Dennehotso,1 near a red, round rock.2 The winter was over, and it was the beginning of summer. My father was of the Bit'ahnii [the Within His Cover People] clan, but I never knew him and do not know his name because he passed away when I was very small.3 As time went on, my maternal grandmother...
The Later Livestock Years
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Click. The tape recorder fell silent, ending the last part of the interview. Chronologically, Oshley’s life history so far had covered up to the early-to-mid-1940s (an estimate based on internal evidence). He spent the next fifteen to twenty years involved in the livestock industry and another twenty-five years in retirement, yet there is only a faint written...
Daily Life in Town
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When Navajo Oshley retired from the livestock industry and took up residence on the outskirts of Blanding, he began a new lifestyle.The Westwater community remained a haven for poorer Navajos, who depended on work in a town that was slow to accept them. The Utes, on the other hand, who had enjoyed some of the better campsites near wood and water in the same area...
Religion and Death
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The core of any person’s existence lies in the values that are carried through life. Good or bad, the sum total of an individual’s identity is dependent upon the way those values come into play during times of stress and ease. This was particularly true during the last years of Navajo Oshley’s life. His religious values, formed by his experiences as a young...
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Publication Year: 2000