So we're grateful to you, and we'll do our classwork today on the blog so you'll be able to make it up.
In order to make sure we don't penalize the students who are taking the CAAP test, we will defer the second part of our study of Navajo flute artist Carlos Nakai till Friday. Instead, we will do some of the background on a poem by Navajo writer and educator Luci Tapahonso titled "In 1864" ... it's one of those poems you have to read a couple of times because she's telling a story within a story, but it's one of my favorites.
To get some background, divide yourselves into small groups. (If you're reading this later, thanks again for taking the CAAP test and read on.) On the World Wide Web, research the following topics and post your findings - with links pasted in - as comments to this post. The topics are:
- The Long Walk and Kit Carson
- Navajo jewelry and silver work
- Traditional Navajo clothing
- Fry bread
Some added notes and links:
Fry bread. A video of Navajo ladies making fry bread outdoors at the community field day in Na'neelzhiin (Torreon), N.M. The fry bread, according to YouTube, was later served for lunch with mutton stew.
The Long Walk. Wikipedia has a summary and good map of the Long Walk of the Navajo people in 1864. Also definitions of some of the words in the poem, including "Dinétah" - the ancestral homeland in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico.
Kit Carson. PBS has a short bio of Carson that tells both the good and the bad. Here's the part about the Navajo:
... Most of his military actions, however, were directed against the Navajo Indians, many of whom had refused to be confined upon a distant reservation set up by the government. Beginning in 1863 Carson waged a brutal economic war against the Navajo, marching through the heart of their territory to destroy their crops, orchards and livestock. When Utes, Pueblos, Hopis and Zunis, who for centuries had been prey to Navajo raiders, took advantage of their traditional enemy's weakness by following the Americans onto the warpath, the Navajo were unable to defend themselves. In 1864 most surrendered to Carson, who forced nearly 8,000 Navajo men, women and children to take what came to be called the "Long Walk" of 300 miles from Arizona to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, where they remained in disease-ridden confinement until 1868.Carson's memory was as controversial as his contemporary Gen. W.T. Sherman, who undertook a similar scorched- earth campaign known as "Sherman's March" through Georgia. He helped win the Civil War for the Union, and he was honored in the North but hated by Southerners.