By John Holiday
A bright portrait of the lifetime of a conventional twentieth-century Navajo medication man
For greater than 90 years, Navajo medication guy John vacation has watched the sunlight upward push over the rock formations of his domestic in Monument Valley. At an early age, vacation all started an apprenticeship along with his grandfather to profit the Blessingway rite, and as a formative years, he played rainmaking ceremonies and practiced healing.
vacation skilled the invasion of Monument Valley by means of whites and later participated within the early filmmaking undefined, operating with director John Ford and actor John Wayne. lifestyles within the wilderness was once rooted within the farm animals and occasionally supplied just a hand-to-mouth lifestyles. vacation was once hired within the Nineteen Thirties with the Civilian Conservation Corps, served a quick stint within the army, mined uranium at the Navajo Reservation within the Nineteen Fifties, and labored at the railroad.
Robert S. McPherson interviewed vacation largely to checklist his complete and interesting existence. vacation tells his grandparents tales of the lengthy stroll period, discusses attitudes concerning the land, relates Navajo non secular tales, and recounts his education as a medication man. A Navajo Legacy displays the innovations of a conventional practitioner who has present in existence either good looks and classes for destiny generations.
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Additional resources for A Navajo Legacy: The Life and Teachings of John Holiday
In the summer, when the frogs came out, we caught them and pretended they were horses. We made little saddles for their backs, then placed our stick men on top and let them go. It was like a rodeo with bucking horses. There were a lot of small springs in that valley back then, and we had plenty of things to do. I still remember those days when I was small. As young children we were told to run and shout as loud as we could. This was done at the break of dawn, when we faced toward the east and yelled, then to the south, west, and north, then we ran back home, yelling all the way.
One of my father’s nephews, Hite Chee, assisted him in shoeing all the horses and mules. 36 A NAVAJO LEGACY Oljato Trading Post, 1909. ” (Photo 11343, used by permission, Utah State Historical Society, all rights reserved) The old Oljato Trading Post became an important part of the community. Two white men who lived in the small red stone building near the well at the point of the mesa operated it. 22My father, brother, and another man worked for them as tour guides. These two traders decided to bring water to their house from a distant spring by the trading post, so they dug a large bowl-shaped hole in the rocks to accumulate the water.
Some of John’s earliest recollections are associated with the profession of being a medicine man. His father and grandfather introduced him early in life to the teachings and practice of the art of healing. Even when his patience was tried as they traveled, with frequent stops, John maintained a curiosity about and fostered a growing knowledge of the practice. His mother also encouraged this interest, through her teachings, which inspired John to seek his own formal training. At one point, he equates this to what his brother received in boarding school.