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Navajo Political Process

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dc.contributor.author Williams, Aubrey W., Jr. en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-25T17:38:21Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-14T19:00:52Z
dc.date.available 2007-05-25T17:38:21Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-14T19:00:52Z
dc.date.issued 1970
dc.identifier.citation Williams, Aubrey W., Jr. 1970. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810223.9.1">Navajo Political Process</a>." <em>Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology</em>. 1&ndash;75. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.9.1">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.9.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0223
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.9.1
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this work is to describe the function of various political structures and their incorporation into the Navajo way of life. The data presented in this study were collected over a 2-year period January 1961 to December 1963 during which I spent 18 months on the Navajo Reservation and adjoining areas as a participant-observer of Navajo culture. The report was written, in part, while I was in the field in order to utilize both historical and contemporary documents maintained by the Navajo Tribe and the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Window Rock, Arizona.<br/>My introduction to contemporary Navajo life was as an employee of the Navajo Tribe in the capacity of an ethnographer. On January 1, 1961, I became a member of a research team seeking ethnohistorical facts from elderly Navajos to support a land claims case against the U.S. Government. On the afternoon of the day I arrived on the Navajo Reservation, I was "presented" with two 4-wheel-drive Jeeps, two tape recorders, two interpreters, four Navajo helpers, and a list of Navajo place names and personal names which I was to go out and locate and interview on the following day. I was told that I could spend the remainder of the afternoon securing food and provisions for my research team for a 3-week stay in the field. During the next 2 months nearly 150 informants over the age of 60 years were interviewed (a maximum of 14 on any single day) concerning the cultural patterns of their families and relatives as far back in time as each informant was able to remember.<br/>My work with the Navajo Tribe put me in contact with many tribal officials, traders, Bureau of Indian Affairs personnel, missionaries, grazing committee members, and chapter officers in all parts of the Navajo Reservation. The most frequent contact was with chapter officials; we frequently utilized chapter houses as temporary headquarters in our search for informants. In most cases it was necessary to obtain the approval of each chapter&amp;apos;s officers before we were allowed to use chapter buildings for interviews and living quarters. I soon learned that obtaining this approval was no mere formality even though we had the general blessings of the Navajo Tribal Council and the approval of the tribal government to conduct such inquiries. Chapter officers almost invariably wanted to know a great deal about what we hoped to do with the information we were planning to collect, and why certain members of their chapter had been named as prospective informants. The independent spirit and actions of each chapter organization aroused my interest and resulted in the study presented here.<br/>I am indebted to a great many people for the information presented herein. Chronologically, I am grateful to David M. Brugge, J. Lee Correll, Clyde Peshlakai, Bernadine Whitegoat, and Maxwell Yazzi who first introduced and interpreted Navajo culture to me on the Navajo Reservation. I am indebted to John Y. Begaye and Ralph Johns who, as tribal employees, allowed me to pester both them and their staffs with questions about Navajo life for over 14 months. I owe a great debt to the hundreds of Navajo men and women who tried to answer my questions concerning the operation of their chapter organization. Thanks are due to Jane Erickson who helped in final proofreading and to Mary Anne Libby who assisted in indexing the study.<br/>My greatest debt is that which I owe to Edward H. Spicer who acted as the supervisor of my graduate studies in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. I feel certain that without his gentle but persistent demand for the highest possible quality of workmanship both in the field and in writing, the study would not contain what clarity it now possesses.<br/>The research for this paper was financially supported by a Comin&amp;apos;s Fund Fellowship from the Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, for the months of June, July, and August 1961, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research fellowship awarded in June 1962. I am also indebted to the Bureau of Eth en
dc.format.extent 40525927 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 6317932 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology en
dc.title Navajo Political Process en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113411
dc.identifier.eISSN 1943-6661 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810223.9.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
rft.issue 9
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 75
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 75
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.9.1

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