Díyín diné’é (The Holy People) -The Diné are an ancient people with a fascinating history and tradition. They believe they were created from Mother Earth and Father Sky. They are a part of the land, a part of their weaving, and a part of their Mother’s beauty.
Every Indian nation has its unique story of catastrophic contact with the expanding European settlement of the continent, however reappears in these stories topic, like the forced removal of Native communities by foot to distant reservations so that their more favorable native grounds could be taken by the government, settlers, or commercial interests.
The Long Walk was the opening salvo of a more general policy “manifest destiny” to establish many different Indian reservations, preferably in areas containing few resources of interest to Anglo-Europeans. The Apache and Navajo were simply the most visible tribes upon which to try out this experiment. The Mescalero Apaches were also at war with the U.S. government and were the first group to be taken to Fort Sumner.
The Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole nations walked a Trail of Tears in 1838 when forcibly removed from their homeland. Tens of thousands of Indigenous people have died in forced “relocations” and environmental desecration that drove them from their homes. General Carleton’s growing malevolence toward Native Americans turned into brutal in his dealings with them.The physical and psychological suffering was tremendous. Carleton’s miserable utopian agrarian experiment at Bosque Redondo of the resettlement, like others, was a disaster which cost the suffering and lives of thousands innocent people.
Like the Cherokees and their “Trail of Tears,” the Navajo will never forget the “Long Walk.”
It has become part of their world view, their culture, and even their jewelry and artworks. The Navajo way of life was altered from pastoral herders to sedentary prisoners.The people were uprooted from their way of life, since their life and spirituality were rooted in their land and mountains, they were deprived of the protection of the four sacred mountains. Oral traditions say that the Navajo people ceased to perform most ceremonies during the time of their captivity at Fort Sumner. Many remember those 4 hard years as the “Long Walk” an event with as much significance to the Navajos as for the Americans Civil War.
The film uses artwork / firstpeople.us :
“The Creation” – Richard Hook
“A Navajo Wedding” – Alfredo Rodriguez
Photo credit to: Harold Carey Jr. / navajo-arts.com,