Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948 by Will Evans

By Will Evans

Will Evans's writings may still discover a specified area of interest within the small yet major physique of literature from and approximately investors to the Navajos. Evans was once the owner of the Shiprock buying and selling corporation. most likely greater than so much of his fellow investors, he had a robust curiosity in Navajo tradition. the hassle he made to list and percentage what he discovered definitely was once strange. He released within the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and different periodicals, compiling a lot of his items right into a e-book manuscript. His matters have been Navajos he knew and traded with, their tales of old occasions reminiscent of the lengthy stroll, and outlines in their tradition as he, an intruder with no educational education, understood it. Evans's writings have been coloured through his fondness for, unusual entry to, and friendships with Navajos, and by means of who he used to be: a dealer, folks artist, and Mormon. He properly portrayed the operations of a buying and selling put up and knew either the fabric and inventive worth of Navajo crafts. His artwork was once quite often encouraged by way of Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, doubtless, occasionally misappropriated that sacred paintings to color surfaces and items of every kind. As a Mormon, he had specific perspectives of who the Navajos have been and what they believed and was once consultant of a giant type of often-overlooked investors. a lot of the Navajo alternate within the 4 Corners sector and farther west used to be operated by way of Mormons. they'd an important historic position as intermediaries, or agents, among local and eu American peoples during this a part of the West. good attached on the middle of that international, Evans was once an outstanding spokesperson.

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Extra resources for Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948

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A week later, Reddy responded. ”54 The contention of Anglo superiority ignored the reality of healing by nature. “There is no doubt but that the Indian Medicine Men have contacted that Higher Power” that only a few whites ever had. Reddy, obviously enamored of Native Americans, next pointed out that “one cannot deceive a real Medicine Man as to one’s thoughts and intents” and that “Indians and other primitive tribes are the original 25 Spiritualists. ” The Californian had provided Evans with a perfect opportunity to burst an idealistic bubble.

Their culture was very much intact at the beginning of the twentieth century, not having been seriously damaged by inroads of white culture. Will stood at a vantage point, seeing that change was inevitable and there was much to be recorded. As author and friend John Stewart MacClary wrote of him, “The ‘intellectual storekeeper’ role does not fully portray the character of the man. Yes, he is a storekeeper. His trading post provides home and livelihood. ”59 In a letter dated October 16, 1938, Evans wrote of his very specific intentions to preserve the culture.

Few readers doubt these authors’ sincerity. They did not dabble in the extremes of nobility or savagery but concerned themselves rather with the humanity of Native Americans, providing a much-needed antidote to previous portrayals. Still there were problems. The cultural perspective of an outsider, no matter how well intentioned, still too easily missed the mark. ”63 This is also true of Evans’s writings. He worked at portraying what he learned from his Navajo friends, although often he was unable to leave behind his own biases.

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