05 August 2007

More about the Navajo

Dale Stahl has joined the online ReadingBlog. He often read interesting books and described them well when I published Reading. With my success in creating a mailing list for the digital version, he has jumped in quickly with this supplement to Navajo fiction.

Dale wrote:

I noticed the Hillerman discussion and thought I'd put in a plug for Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides.

It is a non-fiction work that tells the tale of Kit Carson and the clash between the US Government and the Navajo people. The importance of the landscape on Navajo culture and the four sacred mountains, as so elequently described by Hillerman, is made even more clear and described in vivid detail in this book. It is striking the degree to which a sense of place, the physical geography of the land influences the non-material culture of the Navajo people.

Further, the key figures involved in the Navajo long walk to the Bosque Redondo, the near destrcution of their culture, and the ultimate decision to return them to their homeland is a fascinating and heart rending read.

Carson is an extremely interesting figure as well, and deserving of his folk hero status, although the author pulls no punches when describing his fierce temper and violent acts, Carson clearly has a sense of justice and the well being of the natives in mind throughout his life.

No comments: