By Will Evans
Will Evans's writings may still discover a designated area of interest within the small yet major physique of literature from and approximately investors to the Navajos. Evans was once the owner of the Shiprock buying and selling corporation. most likely greater than such a lot of his fellow investors, he had a robust curiosity in Navajo tradition. the trouble he made to checklist and proportion what he discovered definitely used to be strange. He released within the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and different periodicals, compiling a lot of his items right into a ebook manuscript. His topics have been Navajos he knew and traded with, their tales of historical occasions akin to the lengthy stroll, and outlines in their tradition as he, an interloper with out educational education, understood it. Evans's writings have been coloured via his fondness for, unusual entry to, and friendships with Navajos, and via who he was once: a dealer, people artist, and Mormon. He adequately portrayed the operations of a buying and selling publish and knew either the cloth and creative worth of Navajo crafts. His artwork used to be more often than not encouraged by means of Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, without doubt, occasionally misappropriated that sacred paintings to color surfaces and items of every kind. As a Mormon, he had specific perspectives of who the Navajos have been and what they believed and was once consultant of a big classification of often-overlooked investors. a lot of the Navajo alternate within the 4 Corners quarter and farther west used to be operated by means of Mormons. that they had an important old position as intermediaries, or agents, among local and ecu American peoples during this a part of the West. good attached on the middle of that global, Evans was once a great spokesperson.
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Extra info for Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948
Among the milestones passed by the tribe during this time were the opening of the Shiprock Agency (1903); the ﬁrst Shiprock Fair (1909); World War I (1917–1918); the inﬂuenza epidemic (1918–1919); the introduction of the automobile (1920s); livestock reduction (1930s); the beginning of the wage economy (1940s and 1950s); expansion of the coal, oil, and gas industry into the reservation (beginning around 1900); and World War II (1941–1945). Evans realized that the older forms of Navajo practices were changing and so set about to record what he could.
This was a formative experience that describes the founding of the Sanostee Post and a lonely Christmas in the midst of Navajo land. There is no missing the isolation this young man felt, surrounded by a strange culture, cut off by winter storms, and short on basic amenities. Yet it was a deeply moving experience that he often referred to in later life. He grew to love and understand the Navajo, as what at ﬁrst seemed foreign became customary. The second piece is Evans’s description of a typical exchange in a trading post.
Sheep, the main source of meat, lay in pitiful Introduction A ch’í˛˛idii hogan located southwest of Shiprock. Believed to be inhabited by the spirit of the person who died inside, these structures are either deserted or destroyed. Photo by Richard P. Evans. heaps, victims of the bitter northwest winds and snow. I knew that when spring came there would be thousands of carcasses huddled in the gullies. The ghostly remains of animals, frozen where they stood, were now completely covered by drifting snow.