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Navajo Lifeways: Contemporary Issues, Ancient Knowledge

Maureen T. Schwarz

University of Oklahoma Press, December 2001

Navajo Lifeways: Contemporary Issues, Ancient Knowledge cover

During the final decade of the twentieth century, Navajo people had to confront a number of challenges, from unexplained illness, the effects of uranium mining, and problem drinking to threats to their land rights and spirituality. Yet no matter how alarming these issues, Navajo people made sense of them by drawing guidance from what they regarded as their charter for life, their origin stories.

Through extensive interviews, Maureen Schwarz, professor emeritus of anthropology, allows Navajo to speak for themselves on the ways they find to respond to crises and chronic issues. In capturing what Navajo say and think about themselves, Schwarz presents this southwestern people’s perceptions, values, and sense of place in the world.