Navajo Children (1938)

Theme: overview of Navajo/Diné agricultural practices, moving from winter to summer hogans and other seasonal activities. Story: follows a family including two children, Little Bow and Dark Eyes.
Cultural Narrative: 

Narrated by Cindy and Perry Slivers in 2019. Facilitated by Rhiannon Sorrell, Instructor and Librarian at Diné College.

Language of narration primarily Diné Bizaad.


Wide shot of desert brush covered in snow; cliffs in background; medium shot of sheep (dibé) nibbling on remnants of sage brush on snowy ground; wide shot of man in coat and sheep walking past, then shot from down the hill past trees, two men behind; wide shot of sheep and men approaching a hogan with snow on top, ground; same shot, now no snow, horse and buggy, two men and a woman standing alongside, a woman carries materials out of the hogan and places them next to the wagon; medium wide shot of man (identified as the father of family) with handkerchief around head, a necklace, and dark-colored shirt and pants, silver concho belt; hitching horses to the wagon; shots of man picking up a cardboard box and sheepskin and woven blanket that he then loads into back of wagon; a girl (identified as "Dark Eyes") sits on a blanket and pets two kittens (mósí), she then gets up and hand them to the man to place in the wagon; close up of his hands placing them on a blanket as they meow; wide shot of a woman in a long black shirt and black long-sleeved top and a boy (identified as Little Bow) in jeans and a collared shirt opening the gate to a sheep pen; various medium-close shots of the Little Bow herding the sheep out (shouting voice dubbed in); same holding a puppy (łééchąą’í), pulls another puppy out of a wooden pen (Border Collies?), carries them off; medium close shot of the boy handing the puppies to the man who pats one on the head and places them in the wagon; closer shot of a the puppies and kittens relaxing and eyeing each other on a blanket; medium shots of Little Bow retrieving a bow and arrow set hanging on a tree, then going to another tree to untie a saddled horse and mounting; wider shot of smiling the boy riding horse close to the camera; medium shot of him herding the sheep and goats on horseback; interior medium shot of the woman sitting and finishing tying a baby into a cradleboard, another toddler sitting nearby; close-up of the baby's face (identified as a boy); back to woman tying; Dark Eyes walks up and kneels; close-up of her; she and the woman, carrying the cradleboard, and the toddler get up and exit; medium shot of girl crawling into back of wagon and the woman handling the baby to her; closer shot of her holding the cradleboard as the woman climbs in and takes the baby; the toddler boy crawls in smiling; medium wide shot from the front of the wagon where the man and another (older?) woman wrapped in a blanket sit as they take off; wide shots of wagon leaving the yard, accompanied by sheep, goats and other horses herded by Little Bow, and the group riding between rocky outcroppings and trees; medium shot of wagon passing; wide shot from behind of boy herding; very wide shots of the group passing through the landscape past a huge rock; another slightly closer shot of the group passing two more large rocks; group stops at a configuration of smaller rocks and cliff, the man waves; medium shot of three men sitting alongside a wagon, one waves and gets up; back to shot of the group as the man approaches; medium shot of the men shaking hands at the family's wagon, they speak and the new man points behind him, and the other nods; medium wide shot of the group moving their wagon; at dusk, wide shot of people sitting in a wide circle, wagons and horses close by; a group of five men stand and sing as one beats a drum (music may be dubbed here); closer shot of three; medium shot of the woman in the wagon with the baby and toddler boys looking; medium wide shot of two men in cowboy hats leaning again a wagon and two women seated next to them listen; back to men singing; medium shot of a woman and two girls of varying ages listening; shot of a woman holding a baby in a cradleboard; daytime medium shot of family group seated alongside the wagon, the older woman frying bread, small campfire; wider shot of the other woman feeding some to the toddler, Little Bow gets up with his bow and arrow, smiling, and gets up, walks off towards Navajo/Dine voice calling off-screen; medium wide shot of him approaching another boy with his bow and arrow near a wall of boulders and they walk off to join three others getting ready shoot; medium shot Little Bow shooting and smiling, then reverse shot of the arrow going into a narrow tree stump; back to the boy smiling; medium shot of another boy shooting, then Little Bow and similar reverse shot of arrow hitting the stump; medium wide shot of boys retrieving their arrows; medium shot of the father saying something in Navajo/Dine (likely dubbed) and motioning to the boy to come to the wagon where he is hitching the horse; back to the boys and Little Bow waves goodbye; wide shot of wagon, horses, sheep, etc. passing through landscape; closer shot as they approach a hogan made with loosely arranged branches and a shelter form not yet covered; the girl herds the sheep and goats; medium wide of Dark Eyes herding them around the wagon as the adults rise to get off; medium wide shot of the boy dismounting his horse and leaving it untethered to the shelter brace; medium shot of the woman lifting blankets out of the wagon and the man handing Little Bow a puppy and two kittens, then similar shot of man handing the Dark Eyes a puppy and a hoe as he says something in Navajo/Dine (dubbed), she turns and walks off with both; medium wide shot of the girl holding a basket and her mother digging a hole with the hoe; close-up of the girl dropping squash seeds into the hole, the mother's shoe pushing dirt over; back to shot of the two of them, the woman tamping down the dirt, they walk off; wide shot of the man walking behind a horse and handheld plow, hills and cliff in background; closer shot of him walking along and dropping seeds from a basket onto ground; wide shot with sheep and rocks in background boy playing with a puppy and a can on the end of a string in the fore; medium shot of boy and puppy, they walk off; medium wide shot as the puppy runs into the herd of sheep and goats, followed by shot of Little Bow herding the animals (shouting voice dubbed in); wide shot of herding the animals into a corral beyond the hogan and yard; wide shot of mother and girl entering the hogan, older woman sitting outside, man walks up with horse; medium shot of boy among the herd, closer shot of boy pulling a goat by the horns and wresting it to the ground, the man walks up and ties its feet together; medium wide shot of woman and girl approaching with a bag; closer shot of the woman using sheep sheers to begin clipping the sheep's wool/aghaaʼ as Dark Eyes helps hold its feet as it squirms; medium wide shot of the man gathering branches, a puppy playing nearby gets caught up while playing and runs off; medium shot of the girl gathering up a pile of wool into her sack, camera pans to another big pile, sheered sheep and goats nearby, the mother walks up and add a big armful to the pile; medium wide shot of two looms attached to the shelter frame, the mother sitting at one weaving and Dark Eyes at the other; medium and closer shots of the mother working on her pattern; medium shots of the pair, then the man walks up speaking (dubbed); close-up of the girl listening; back to shot of all three, the man squatting and speaking to her; medium shot of the toddler and the baby boys playing with yarn; wide shot of Little Bow herding the animals between rock formations; wide shot of the herd grazing in grassy area; wide shot of same, with Little Bow perched on a low rocky cliff above with a puppy; medium wide shot of boy petting the puppy on the rock; end credit.

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