Arts and Crafts of the Southwest Indians (1953)

Part 1: Navajo activities include: silversmithing, rug weaving, trading post activity. Part 2: Hopi and Zuni artisans make pottery and jewelry, also visit an Indian Fair. Part II begins at 11:20.
Cultural Narrative: 

"Part 1 -- The Navajos" is narrated by Rhiannon Sorrell, Instructor & Librarian at Diné College, in 2015. Language of narration is primarily English.

"Part 2 -- Pueblo Indians" has not yet been narrated.


Arts and Crafts of the Southwest Indians. “Part 1, The Navajos”
Opening credits Head and shoulders of a Navajo man with white hair, yellow bandana, turquoise necklace and black velvet shirt, looking left; cliffside and blue sky and wispy clouds behind; cliff and cloud-filled (maybe stormy?) skies, tree; sheep (dibé), goats, and shepherds by watering hole or spring; closer views of the animals; silhouette of fabrics hanging from a tree and wagon to man (later identified as silversmith [béésh łigaii ííłʼíní] Sam Begay) standing near a hogan wall in the background; group of women and a girl working in front of outdoor looms, erecting one on the ground; a man, woman (identified as Irene and Luke Yazzie), and little girl move towards the entrance to the Pine Springs Trading Post (southeastern part of Navajo Nation, Arizona), another man (maybe Begay?) dismounts from his horse and does same; interior of the Yazzies approaching the counter, a trader (identified as half-Navajo Sammie Day) in a cowboy hat and tan plaid wool shirt greets them, the man and woman remove their silver concho belts and hand them to Day who makes a note on what’s identified as a ticket; Day opens a large walk-in safe and places the belts inside where other jewelry is visible; Begay in an orange and white striped shirt and red headband standing at the counter where the merchant weighs scrap silver on a balance scale, he then places the metal into a paper envelope; Begay walking through a field of dirt and shrubs and looking down, turning over rocks with his feet, picks one up; inspecting the rock; Begay walking to a table near the hogan wall, tree in silhouette in foreground; Begay sawing a slab off of the Tufa volcano ash rock; drawing on the rock’s newly sawed slab’s flat surface; same shot but now he’s carving over the drawing with the point of a sharp knife; Begay seated at his workbench concentrating on drawing lines around a design mold on the now smaller, rectangular slab of rock; interior Begay burning tallow with a lighter over the mold, then he wraps the mold and a second small Tufa stone together with a strip of fabric or hide; Begay stoking hot metal liquified silver in a vessel over fire, next to a blowtorch held over the metal; super the melted silver; Begay removing the melting pot with a heavy tin snips or wrench while holding the blowtorch above as he pours the liquid into the mold; exterior of Begay returning to his workbench with the mold where he unwraps the mold and removes the cast then snips off the neck/handle; filing and polishing the edges of the piece; exterior the Yazzies attaching loom (dah iistłʼǫ́) with already started rug to vertical frame; the two attaching the yarn beam and tension cords; Irene gathering yellow plants and flowers; Irene walking past the loom to a fire pit carrying her herbs and flowers and lays them out on sheep skin; plants laid out on a cloth: Navajo tea, Juniper bows and roots; various s of her putting the roots in metal container of boiling water on the fire and adding a piece of lyme, stirring the pot; adding white yarn to the pot, now roots removed; she stirs and hauls up the yarn to inspect the coloration; Luke leading a horse through the yard, past a sun shade over to a hitching post next to the loom, he grabs gear from to saddle the horse as Irene weaves; Irene weaving; group of looms and hanging rugs, a different woman weaving; same from other side, women and girls stringing a loom on the ground, carding wool/aghaaʼ; woman carding wool, her hands working; another woman’s hands spinning wool and winding it onto a spindle/bee adizí; another woman and her daughter passing a ball of yarn back and forth to wrap it around the loom’s thread beams to create the warp; the older woman from before weaving what’s identified as a saddle blanket; Luke driving the horse-driven wagon to front of the hogan out of which comes Irene and her daughter who load the wagon bed with rugs; climbing into the wagon; riding off; Sam Begay riding his white horse quickly down a dirt road and through a field of shrubs; hitching his horse to tree and carries a bundle; walking into Pine Springs Trading Post, other men sit outside the entrance, then from inside as he enters; Sam unwraps his bundle before the balance scale and Sammie Day the trader, he then places silver bracelets on the scale, Sammie adds counterweights; the bracelets on the scale; the Yazzies’ wagon arriving at the trading post; interior of them at the counter, the trader on the other side; Sammie unfolds the rug she’s place there while Luke inspects a leather shoe; Sammie inspects the rug and holds up seven (or eight) fingers to her and smiles; Sammie places their silver belts from before on the counter and counts out some cash; they put their belts back on and two men shake hands; the Yazzies as they exit the post carrying bags and holding Irene holding their daughter’s hand; a group on horseback and seated on the ground watching a red and tan small-engine plane arrive on a dirt landing strip; lane driving past the camera; the newly arrived white trader (Mr. Sewall) in a red and blue plaid shirt and another man (Sammie Day?) carrying rugs shake hands and then Irene’s rug and Begay’s silver works are placed on the ground for inspection, others gather, including the Yazzies around; alternate shot of same and then the two men collect the goods to put in the plane; the plane leaving and people waving goodbye.

“Part 2, Pueblo Indians” [Hopi/Zuni/Pueblo]

Opening Credits. Buttes and cloudy sky, valley; planted fields, flowering shrubs, a village and mesas in the background; the Hopi pueblo of Supawlavi (or Sipaulovi) on Second Mesa (Arizona) and desert in the background; a woman (identifed as Esther Honani) walking through a pueblo street carrying yucca shoots strapped to her back with white cloth, a child looks on; Esther walking across towards a wide doorway in a tall exterior wall; Esther, in a black dress with yellow and white flowers, sits on the ground placing yucca shoots on a layer of moist sand and cloth; sprinkling sand over the shoots and covers with the fabric; Esther sitting in shade on a platform and a woman (identified as her daughter Adeline) in a blue dress joins her with a basket and weaving supplies; Adeline twisting a strand of moistened straw around a small bundle of split yucca leaves; finished baskets in the background; Esther working on a nearly finished coiled basket; Adeline pushing a steel awl into the little coil; Esther splitting yucca leaves with one end in her mouth and another woman (identified as “Mrs. Dungoura”, spelling approximate) admiring a finished basket; Adeline taking a drink of water from a metal cup and wets a basket coil with her mouth; Esther and Adeline working; same shot of Adeline completing her white basket with black and red decoration, star in the middle shoots one line (the spirit line) to the edge; a hand pointing to the spirit line on a very old basket; Adeline smiling and showing off another basket and Kachina doll (identified as a goddess of rain and fertility — maybe Kokopelli?) she’s patterned it after, pueblo wall, ladder and sky behind; a Zuni/A:shiwi woman walking through Zuni Pueblo/Halona Idiwan’a (New Mexico) past the ruins of an adobe church and stone houses; an elderly woman (identified as Sawase Allapowa - first name approximate spelling) siting on a red plaid blanket, painting a pot, with a variety of white pots and meal bows around her, then young people watching from the walls above her yard; extreme wide shot from atop a high butte, view of Corn Mountain; Mrs. Allapowa digging up gray clay into a white metal bow in a field of shrubs, Corn Mountain in background; carrying clay off; Allapowa seated on red plaid blanket crushes a shard from an old clay pot into dust on a flat white stone; she then pulls a lump of moist clay from a sack and rolls it into a ball between her hands, and then using her finger pushes a hole into the ball and molds the clay ball around her inserted thumb, stretching an opening; building up the walls of the bowl with coils of clay and then smoothing the sides with a smooth stone (agate); her hands scraping the exterior of colored pot (meal bowl?); her hands rubbing a piece manganese oxide and water in a large brown mortar of volcanic stone; her face in profile with a Zuni blanket behind, her painting a design in brown paint onto a white pot with a small rib of a yucca leaf; her on the blanket with unfired pottery pieces around her including an owl and others; Allapowa placing an unfired pot onto an open-air fire pit in her yard; she then piles up dried manure clods under the fire and pot and covers the pot with a metal lid; fire and pot; taking the lid off and clearing burned material away from the pot with a stick and picks it up; Allapowa inspecting the pot; leaving a house carrying two pieces of her pottery; walking across the plaza towards some buildings and cars; the church ruins and adjoining kiva; a man and women (identified as Harold Tusan or Tuscon —spelling of last name approximate — and his wife) at a work bench, Harold hammering silver on a metal block; his hands inspecting a chunk of raw turquoise, holding up silver wire, and shells, from a selection on the table; Harold in profile his hands filing a piece of sheet silver in a three-pronged band; Harold hammering on the silver; his hands looking at a turquoise brooch next to the band; Mrs. Tusan polishing gems against a rotary polisher and then placing the stones onto a silver jewelry base; turquoise and silver bracelets and rings on a Zuni woman’s hands/wrists, her necklaces and earrings; Zuni women walking past what looks like white tourists; interior shot of what’s identified as an exhibit hall at an “Indian fair” (maybe Southwest Indian Fair?) two young Navajo women are showing off Navajo blankets to a woman customer; a brightly colored Navajo rug; three Zuni pieces of ancient ceremonial vessels on display, and a hand pointing out the plumed serpent and deer designs on one; the Navajo concho belts on display; a selection of Zuni turquoise and other gem-covered wrist guards; three statues with silver in-lay work (a standing man with a headdress, a seated Pueblo man, and a Kachina?) three small solid turquoise statuettes.

Newspaper article referencing the film from Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 3, 1954, p34.

Albuquerque Journal, Dec. 3, 1954