What are the Navaho today? How do they live together and with other races? What is their philosophy of life? Both the general reader and the student will look to this authoritative study for the answers to such questions. The authors review Navaho history from archaeological times to the present, and then present Navaho life today. They show the people’s problems in coping with their physical environment; their social life among their own people; their contacts with whites and other Indians and especially with the Government; their economy; their religious beliefs and practices; their language and the problems this raises in their education and their relationships to whites; and their explicit and implicit philosophy.
This book presents not only a study of Navaho life, however: it is an impartial discussion of an interesting experiment in Government administration of a dependent people, a discussion which is significant for contemporary problems of a wider scope; colonial questions; the whole issue of the contact of different races and peoples. It will appeal to every one interested in the Indians, in the Southwest, in anthropology, in sociology, and to many general readers.
This work forms the most thoroughgoing study ever made of the Navaho Indians, and perhaps of any Indian group. The book was written as a part of the Indian Education Research Project undertaken jointly by the Committee on Human Development of the University of Chicago and the United States Office of Indian Affairs. The cooperation of a psychiatrist and anthropologist both in the research for, and in the writing of, this study is noteworthy—as is the fusion of methods and points of view derived from medicine, psychology, and anthropology. Probably no anthropological study has ever been based upon so many years of field work by so many different persons.