This comprehensive narrative traces the history of the Navajos from their origins to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Based on extensive archival research, traditional accounts, interviews, historic and contemporary photographs, and firsthand observation, it provides a detailed, up-to-date portrait of the Din past and present that will be essential for scholars, students, and interested general readers, both Navajo and non-Navajo.
As Iverson points out, Navajo identity is rooted in the land bordered by the four sacred mountains. At the same time, the Navajos have always incorporated new elements, new peoples, and new ways of doing things. The author explains how the Din remember past promises, recall past sacrifices, and continue to build upon past achievements to construct and sustain North America's largest native community. Provided is a concise and provocative analysis of Navajo origins and their relations with the Spanish, with other Indian communities, and with the first Anglo-Americans in the Southwest. Following an insightful account of the traumatic Long Walk era and of key developments following the return from exile at Fort Sumner, the author considers the major themes and events of the twentieth century, including political leadership, livestock reduction, the Code Talkers, schools, health care, government, economic development, the arts, and athletics.