The Navajo Indian (1945)

Summary: 
A profile of Navajo/Diné social life, family structure, and culture. Activities shown: farming corn, sheep herding, preparing corn bread, children and family pets; weaving wool and yarn preparation, loom building, silversmithing, trading goods, and more.
Cultural Narrative: 

Narration by Crystal Littleben, Program Coordinator for the Navajo Cultural Arts Program at the Diné College and Miss Navajo Nation 2017-2018. Facilitated by Rhiannon Sorrell, Instructor aand librarian at Diné College.

Language of narration is primarily English.

Description: 

Wide shot of man on horseback and one on foot herding sheep on dirt path through dessert, plateaus in background; closer shot of man on foot shooing the sheep with a large woven scarf through a wire-fenced in pen into the open range, plateaus in background; head/shoulders shot of man with blue headscarf and short hair, plaid shirt and turquoise necklace speaking to someone off-screen and holding up a bow and arrows; head/shoulders shot of a woman in blue velveteen long-sleeved shirt, turquoise necklace bends over and tends to something off-screen; head/shoulders shot of a small boy in denim looking at camera with canvas bags in background; close-up profile of man with short hair looking and speaking; head/shoulders shot of another adolescent boy with a red head scarf and short hair, faded blue shirt, looking at something off-camera; medium wide shot of the man wearing a white hat and riding a plow pulled by two horses towards the camera and then shot changes to behind as he passes; wide shot of rows of corn (naadą́ą́ʼ) stalks at full height in fore- and back-ground, plateaus beyond; medium shot of the two men inspecting corn cobs they pull from a stalk; closer shot of one man inspecting a cob; medium shot of a woman's hands scraping fresh corn from a cob with a large knife onto a white blanket, piles of cobs and large full metal bowl of kernels; wider shot of same with a little boy from earlier sitting and watching nearby; wider shot of scene shows they are sitting beneath an open-air, but covered with branches entrance to the hogan; medium shot of another woman coming out, hunched over, of the hogan to give the other a large grinding metate (tsédaashjééʼ); the woman places the stone and a smaller, flat, pestle-like grinding tool or mano (tsédaashchʼíní) on the white blanket; medium shot of woman scooping a big handful of kernels from the bowl onto the metate and grinding it with the mano, the little boy looking on; closer shot of her hands working, turquoise bracelets on each wrist; medium shot of the boy and woman each opening up a corn husk; closer shot of her hands shaping the ground corn meal into a husk; medium shot of one man squatting, holding kindling, by a small fire with kettle on top; closer shot of the kettle and fire; medium close shot of a woman's hands moving cooked corn meal in husk packets from the ashes, shaking off the dust, and placing onto another pile; medium shot of two women, the little boy and a man with blue headband and white shirt sitting around white metal dishes and coffee pot inside the hogan, eating the cornbread; head/shoulder shot of man taking a bite; medium shots of the group eating, chatting and laughing; medium shot of a white puppy (łééchąą’í) sitting near a pile of wood; medium shot of the boy and puppy laying down and playing inside on a sheep-skin rug; exterior shot of the boy pushing the puppy's face and then body into a large food bowl; he succeeds and then stands up clapping, the puppy jumps out and runs off, the boy walks towards camera smiling; medium wide shot of the man with blue headscarf demonstrating use of a bow and arrows to the adolescent aged boy with red headscarf, piles of very large logs behind; closer shot of same; medium shot of same boy smiling and petting a lamb sitting on his lap; close up of lamb; close-up of the boys face; medium wide shot of the boy and lamb sitting on a rock; medium shot from behind of a woman weaving a rug on a loom (dah iistłʼǫ́) attached to a wall of large logs; closer shot of same; medium shot of a woman carding raw wool/aghaaʼ with metal brushes; closer shot of same, including rolling the wool off into a bunch; medium shot of the woman winding strands of wool fiber onto a spindle (or whirl, also bee adizí) she turns, and tugs the yarn; wide shot of a woman walking through brushy landscape winding a ball of red yarn, collecting it from where it's suspended in the shrubs; closer shots of same; close-up of a woven bowl with three balls of yarn in white, red and brown, the kneels of a woman kneeling next to it; medium wide shot of woman and man with blue headscarf tying together a wooden frame of a loom, flat on a canvas or animal skin rug; medium shot of the woman tying the top warp of yarn to the loom; closer shot of her hands typing more warps, many of them already done; medium shot of the loom standing up attached to a wall, the woman tightening the knot holding the tension bar in place, as another woman looks on; medium and closer shots of woman tying a heddle rod in place; medium shots of her weaving, sending the weft and weaving; close-up of men's hands inspecting a silver bracelet and placing a turquoise stone on it, filing the setting; close-up of a woman's hands, with painting finger nails, showing off a bracelet on her arm and then showing off the revolving center piece showing alternating stones; wide shot of the exterior of a hogan, two women and the small boy walking out, one with a rug, as a horse and buggy pull up, the man with the white had behind the reins; the three crawl into the wagon to sit down, wagon take off; wide shot of a brown rectangular trading post, camping trailer behind and two horses tied in front, the wagon pulls up, hillsides in background; medium shot of the group crawling down from the wagon, one woman taking the boy; medium shot of the group entering the building; medium shot of the man shaking hands with and speaking to the white man behind the glass counter, goods behind; the Navajo man places a large concho belt on the counter onto which the other places a large sack and write something down; wide shot of the wagon and group riding towards the camera, over dirt tracks through the landscape with plateaus in background; ends with a closer view of the group; end credit.

Additional notes:

There was a 1975 revised version with different narration. https://archive.org/details/thenavajoindian

Navajo Nation