In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

36 c h a p t e r 3 A Methodology of Beauty Charlotte Davidson (Diné/Three Affiliated Tribes: Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara) The Indigenous mind is the tribal mind and the feminine mind; it is the mind that has been suppressed, oppressed, colonized, shamed, and killed out of framework of thinking and knowing. —­ Paula Noel Hibbard (2001) This chapter attempts to contribute to the search for an Indigenous research methodology upon which to reclaim a beauty-­ centered politic of research inquiry, and by so doing, to reassert the political vision to “walk in beauty.” To a deeper extent, walk in beauty, known in Diné Bizaad (The People’s Language) as Hózhóogo Naasháa Doo, is a form of existence that compels Diné to be conscious of our historical and contemporary capacity as human beings to harm or heal, and to be mindful of the aftereffect that occurs by our pursuit of either possibility. Thus, what ensues is a careful discussion concerning an embodied lens-­ making practice centered in Hózhó. The terms Hózhó and beauty will be used interchangeably throughout this chapter. As a philosophical idea, Hózhó has been described by Navajo scholars as being central to Navajo life and integral to the philosophy of Sa’ah Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón (SNBH) and the Hózhoojí (Blessing Way) and Naayee’jí (Protection Way) teachings. SNBH is our life that we strive to live, yet it is also part of our thoughts, language, prayers, and songs and is integral to our inherent human quality for making sense of our lives and striving for harmony, peace, and justice . (Werito, 2014, p. 27) In concert with the above,“Scholars including myself should not go beyond that realization. SNBH can only be clearly understood in the Diné language with a Diné chanter providing the necessary explanations and understandings” (Lee, A Methodology of Beauty 37 2004, p. 137). At the same time, none of the above is possible without the ongoing reframing of Diné thought. My knowledge,experience,and once simple understanding of Hózhó matured through my quest for a methodological space that would protect the sanctity of Diné knowledge associated with the pedagogy of weaving—­a familial legacy central to the lived experiences of my matrilineal line that also served as the focus of my doctoral dissertation. Organized into four parts, the first two sections of this chapter will explain the genealogy of a methodology of beauty. Next, Beauty Way principles for research will be discussed. Since the creation of this methodology, new material practices have come to view. I will highlight these emergent patterns of understanding in the last portions of the chapter. Understanding Beauty Over ten years ago, Harry Walters testified that Diné people are in the process of reconstructing our cultural practices and, in so doing, are “altering [our] technology to maintain [our] epistemology” (Walters, as cited by Hedlund, 1996, p. 63). Toward this end, an array of new songs, prayers, and traditions are emerging as a means to render new readings of the world; this is especially true in higher education settings as Diné-­ centered research paradigms have gradually come into view (Begay & Maryboy, 1998; Benally, 2008; Clark, 2009; Emerson, 2003; McAlpin, 2008; Secatero, 2009). It follows then that many Diné scholars, like myself, seek to link Diné thought processes with the creation of material scholarship. Kodóó Hózhó’dooleeł (it begins with beauty) is often uttered at the start of Diné prayers and Hózhó Náhasdlìì (it is done in beauty) is said at the end, conveying that the nature of our intentions begins and ends in a manner of beauty (Werito,2014).Simple and complex expressions of beauty as a moral beingness of Diné include, but are not limited to: balance, Beauty Way, Blessing Way, corn pollen pathway, good, harmony, ideal, kinship, order, positive, Protection Way, well-­ being, Hózhó, and SNBH (Haskie, 2002). Shimá (my mother) further explains, “Regardless of the degree of dysfunction in your environment, make consistent efforts to refresh your thinking process by eliminating negative words, thoughts and actions throughout your path in life. When your beingness is centered in this way of thinking, you experience inner contentment and serenity knowing you are not adding harm to the world” (N. Wilkinson, personal communication, March 23, 2016). Thus, this manner of thinking strongly affected the course of creating a powerful lens in which to closely study the pedagogy of weaving. However , this methodological embarking could not begin...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.