The Navajo people of Canyon de Chelly must negotiate a delicate balance between the old and the new as they struggle to maintain their traditional ways of life in the midst of archaeologists, U.S. Park Service employees, and the increasing numbers of tourists who come to visit this hauntingly beautiful part of northeastern Arizona. Anthropologist-writer Jeanne Simonelli, who worked at Canyon de Chelly as a seasonal park ranger, interweaves stories of her personal experiences and friendships with canyon residents with discussions of native history and culture in the region.
Focusing on the members of one extended Navajo family, Simonelli describes the small moments of their daily lives: shearing goats, baking bread, attending a solemn all-night health ceremony, washing clothes at the local laundromat, playing traditional games and contemporary sports, talking about the history of the Diné—the Navajo people—and pondering the changes they have witnessed in the canyon and the difficulties they confront.
Crossing Between Worlds
is sumptuously illustrated with insightful black-and-white photographs that document the everyday activities of Navajo families in one of the most spectacular corners of the American Southwest.
Author Web site at www.wfu.edu/anthropology/cbw