Monday, July 5, 2010

Canyon de Chelly - Connections to Dine' bike'yah

When Deborah and I were sharing under the cottonwoods at the Thunderbird about how important it was to get back to Phoenix and the Valley for the completion of her Landmark Advanced Course, we decided to visit the Visitors Center and see how much of the Canyon we could see from above. Here we were first greeted by a younger Henry man, dressed in the garb of a National Park employee whom I asked about the Henry that is the silver smith. Soon Gary Henry appeared who shared his story about Ansel Adams and photos of his Mom and sister in a book a friend got in the UK. Here Deborah, Gary and I chatted about his work as we negotiated a purchase. I felt really grounded here watching the film, Canyon Voices that is shown to all visitors. Grateful I got a copy of the 21 minute DVD to share with friends and family back home.

Gary Henry and me outside of the visitors center. The beautiful silver and turquoise art for wearing, reminds me of the work that the Glessner grandparents picked up for Peg along the Santa Fe. When I wear it, I feel connected to my ancestors and this wonderful land and people. Thanks to Susan Weaver for giving me a copy of The Navajo Nation, a visitors guide by Patrick and Joan Lavin 2008 that I read prior to this trip. It has a great overview of culture, history and some of the language. Ya' a't e'e'h (hello) A he' hee' (thank you) were the only ones I tried. It is a tonal language like Mandarin Chinese, both beautiful to listen to and I am aware that I am an early learner.

Younger Dine' vendor with his rock painting art on the south rim of the canyon. He was telling some of the stories of his people here.

Overlook for the White House where visitors can be seen on a tour below.

More of a close up view. Some of the trees were introduced non native species that are now being cut back according to the dad I was talking to.

Here a Dine' father was supporting his son to walk the 1 1/2 mile trail to take water to his grandma who lives below. He pointed out her dwelling and the sheep. Fun to think about returning in cooler weather and perhaps camping in the area.

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