Navajo Country (1951)

This film follows the Navajo/Diné Carillo family and Boja artisan couple through a variety of activities including silversmithing, jewelry making, preparing wool, weaving, brushing hair, and more.
Cultural Narrative: 

Narrated by Natasha Goldtooth, student at Diné College, in 2019. Facilitated by Rhiannon Sorrell, Instructor & Librarian at Diné College.

Language of narration primarily English.


Opening credits, including the title over an illustration of a covered wagon; wide shot of (Canyon de Chelly?) cliffs and rock faces, with man in foreground running his fingers through his short hair as wind blows through it; closer views of the rock formations peaks; medium shots of a tumble weed blowing across the desert floor, finally right at the camera; wide shots of sheep (dibé) grazing on a hillside with trees and shrubs; close-ups in profile of (L-R) Michael and John Carillo in plaid shirts; medium shot of their sister Ruth with head scarf and wrapped in blanket in foreground, sheep and trees behind; closer shots of Ruth; medium shot of John holding a lamb as Michael looks on; closer shots of John and lamb squirming; extreme close-up of lamb's head; medium shot of group of sheep huddling; medium shot of John walking through sheep; medium shot of Michael grabbing a sheep by the horns; medium-wide shot of a woman walking towards a hogan, dog (łééchąą’í) nearby, hills and other fenced structure in background, she sits outside next to hogan; medium shot of the woman (identified as the children's mother) sitting on a blanket carding (or combing wool/aghaaʼ between two boards with metal teeth) a pile of raw wool from a large white sack; series of close-ups of her hand movements while carding; close-up of her pulling the brushed wool from the brush and medium close of her placing the balls in a pile, then straightens and gathers the pile covers; medium close-up of her hands spinning a strand of raw wool to the spindle/bee adizí (or whirl) she turns; close-up of same; medium shots and closer of same; close up of two balls of yarn, one gray/black and one white; medium-wide shot of the woman seated on small wooden stool, weaving a black and white pattern at a loom (dah iistłʼǫ́) attached to the exterior of the hogan; a long series of medium and closer shots of her weaving from behind her and the loom; medium shot of two women holding up a brown, black and white Navajo-design rug; wide shot of a hogan with hillside behind, a man and woman (identified as a Mr. and Mrs. Boja) seated at a table at the entrance; closer shot of same where they are busy at work with their hands; medium shot shows them making silver jewelry; close-up of Mrs. Boja working intently; close-up of her hands placing stones on silver ring setting, several rings on table; close-ups of her filing the ring and working it with needle-nosed pliers; medium shot of the two; close-up of Mr. Boja's hands shaping a silver ring with a tool, then holding it; medium shot of him working alone on a wooden stump, then closer ones of him hammering a punching tool into a strip of metal; close-up of him picking up a large pair of metal shears to snipping off end of the strip; close-up of him shaping the strip into a bracelet by hammering it over the edge of the head of another hammer, then bends with a set of needle-nosed pliers and places it on his wrist to check the sizing; close-up of the finished bracelet with rows of turquoise and white gems affixed on a man's wrist; close-up of a woman places several silver bracelets on her wrists, she then fits a beaded necklace over her head; close-up of another woman's two necklaces, pan up to her face; close-up of a man's waist and two concho belts; medium wide shot of that man readying and getting on a horse outside a hogan; medium shot from below of him, cliffs in background; back to medium shot of Ruth and the sheep herd, Michael in back; close-up of Ruth's face; medium-wide shot of sheep trotting in a line by past camera, hogan, buildings and cliffs in background; back to wide shot of the (winter) hogan and fenced area; medium shot of a woman sitting down next to an exterior hogan wall onto a fur rug, close-up of the woman's hands grinding corn (naadą́ą́ʼ) on the metate (tsédaashjééʼ) with mano (tsédaashchʼíní), a small cloth with a pile of purple and white corn alongside; medium shot Mrs. Corillo kneeling behind Ruth as she brushes her hair with a bundle of stiff, dry, grass (be’ezo or bé’ézhóó’); closer shots of same, then ties the girl's hair into bun (tsiiyéél); close-up of Ruth in profile; medium and closer shot of Mrs. Carillo weaving at the loom; end credits.