I made it a point to visit the museum on my recent trip to the area. I knew that I was going to come away from it with a greater appreciation for the Dine. I am glad that I made the stop.
Growing up in Utah and even building a house on the Navajo reservation during college didn't teach me the unique and tragic history of the Navajo. This museum did.
When I first entered the museum I was wondering what I would see - the exhibits were in a small wing to the left of the desk. Though small, I was quickly overcome with the beauty, significance and talent of the artists and their work. The prints of Melanie Yazzie really caught my eye. A video of her describing her process told her story well. Behind the contemporary section was an area displaying artifacts and traditional items. These were beautiful and captivating, but I thought a little sterile. Finally the last section told the story of the Navajo and the unfortunate meddlings of the U.S. government. Fortunately after 3 years of torment the Navajo were allowed back to their original lands.
I had always wondered where the traditional tribal lands of the Navajo were, and was surprised to find that it is right were I was standing.
I hope to be able to bring my children through this area and let them see the beautiful people and the equally beautiful land they call home.
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