Navajo Land (1936)

Overview of Navajo/Diné living conditions, amenities, boarding schools, women working in an Indian hospital, spinning wool and weaving, men building an irrigation system, silversmithing, sand painting, and more.

Series of wide shots of Navajo reservation landscape and hills; wide shot of a group of men on horseback riding up to the top of a rocky cliff all looking down; close-up from behind of a man pointing out onto the range; wide shot of two men with wide-brimmed hats and ponchos squatting and standing between two horses with the cliffs and a herd of horses in the distance; medium shot of man on horse with bow & arrow, bare-chested wearing breechcloth, white cloth headband, watching off into the distance, two men behind; close-up in profile of man with white hair and headband; close-up in profile of man with longer salt/pepper hair and weaved headband; wide shot of a group of men on horseback riding up to the top of a rocky cliff all looking down, the man in front signals to ride down; series of wide shots of them riding down the slope from the side and from the front towards the camera; shot from POV of the camera behind as they ride away; aerial shot of riders on the range below, riding into the distance, cliffs to their right; back to the two men with wide-brimmed hats and horses, as group of men ride towards they jump on their horses and race off quickly; wide and medium shots of the group racing around, rounding up the herd of horses; medium shirt of a young man, bare-chested wearing breechcloth, white headband on horseback, carrying a long staff, looking behind him; cross-fade to the same man now in leather leggings and pants, leather vest over a long-sleeved (velveteen?) shirt, concho belt, headband/bandana now tied around this neck, no staff; he turns and rides alone; wide shot of man riding into shot where another rider and a herd of sheep, lone conical rock formation in background; shots of the two herding sheep, one image shot through a fence; wide shot of man, woman, and child walking towards and into a hogan, two women weaving at a loom (dah iistłʼǫ́) outside; medium shots and close-ups of two women demonstrating at the loom; close-ups of one woman's beaded turquoise necklace and the other's hands with several turquoise (and other) and silver rings and bracelets; medium and close-up shots of a man crafting a silver concho belt; medium shot of a woman waving her hand in front a baby beside her wrapped in a cradleboard; close-up of baby; same woman inside the hogan decorated with rugs and pottery, etc. feeding a small fire in the center of the room; wide shot of (identified as government) buildings and parked cars in a clearing set between trees and rock faces including Window Rock; aerial shot looking at the buildings through Window Rock; closer wide shot of cars marked outside the buildings, conical rock formation behind; interior shot of a man identified as E.R. (Era Reeseman) Fryer, Superintendent of the Navajo Reservation 1936-1942, in a suit seated, writing at a desk with Navajo rug hung on wall behind; two other men walk in and he rises to join them at a map on the wall, Fryer points things out to them; wide exterior shot of Fort Defiance Indian Hospital; interior shot of a row of babies in bassinets in a maternity ward, nurse and equipment in background; close-up of baby; same view, nurse picks up and holds baby as she walks off; hallway with Navajo women and man in street clothes and nurses in hospital/azeeʼálʼį́ attire; various shots of a nurse fitting hospital gown and cap over woman and then a young man in street clothes; all file into the viewing area of the surgery theater and sit down, various angles of them and doctors and nurses working at an operating table; wide and medium shots of horse and buggy with children inside riding up a dirt road towards a group of single-store brick buildings that are an (unidentified) day school; various interior shots of school room where the teacher and children read and do work at desks and tables; close-up shots of a boy's hand writing and then over the shoulder as he writes numbers on a piece of paper; a young woman sewing at a machine; wide shot of men hammering and using tools while one gives a boy a haircut; medium shot of a man sharpening an ax on a spinning grinder as another looks on; medium shot from above as a man mends the sole of a shoe, close-up of his feet, one with shoe, one barefoot; medium close-up of man cutting a boys hair with manual clippers; exterior of unidentified two-story brick secondary school, people exiting; interior and closer shots of a room with women seated and knitting, winding skeins of yarn, de-seeding wool/aghaaʼ, spinning wool, with a rack of yarns in the background; a medium shot of a teenage girl stringing beads on to a thread at a table, close-up of the thunderbird design she's beading onto cloth; medium-wide and close-up shots of a teacher and young men carving silver conchos and placing turquoise gem; wide shot of male students working in a silversmithing studio with fire places and forging tools; young men sanding a wooden bench in a woodworking lab; exterior of a path running alongside a forest; medium-wide shots of two men sawing a base of a tree with a two-handed saw; the tree falling; wide shot of a group of buildings (perhaps a lumber yard?); cut lumber tumbling from the back of a truck; wide shot of dried river bed and brushy desert landscape; closer shot of dried creek bed; wide shot of dried river bed; closer image of dried, cracked ground; wide shot of a group of men placing big, flat stones in creek bed, mountains in background; closer shot of men placing the stones as a barrier and cementing them in place (for an irrigation system); close-up of a man as he places a rock towards the camera beneath; back to men creating the barrier; wide shot of a manmade irrigation dam with Window Rock and other rock formations in background; shot of man opening a dam valve to release water through small door into the irrigation channel, then closer shot of water flowing out and through planted field; wide and medium shots of two horse-drawn plows plowing a field; wide shot of a group of men harvesting a planted field; interior shot of students in farming class with implements, pictures of cows and 3D topographical map; shots of male students picking and sorting seeds from corn cobs (naadą́ą́ʼ) at a table; E.R. Fryer seated at his desk pointing something out to a Navajo man sitting with; wide shot of auditorium full of people in seats, table with Fryer and Navajo men sitting behind on a stage at the front, Fryer rises; reverse shots of Navajo men in audience; Fryer addresses the audience and sits as a Navajo interpreter stands up to translate; wide shot of men on horseback herding horses; shot of herd running past and away; various shots of horses running into livestock auction corrals; wide shot of corrals to include sheep, men sitting along a fence inside; wide shot of sheep grazing; wide shot of a fence separating longer grass from shorter; closer shot comparing the two; wide shots of sheep grazing, shorn with numbers written on their backs; interior of a hogan where men create a sand painting ('iikááh); medium shots and close-ups of their hands at work and of their faces; overhead shot of the finished painting of (?) Monster Slayer (Nayéé’ Neezghání) and Child-of-the-Water (Tóbájíshchíní) surrounded by the Rainbow Spirit (Nááts’íílid); exterior of Wheelwright Museum; interior of museum with man reviewing items in a booklet and looking up at recreated sand paintings on the walls; closer shot of a painting/diorama; various nighttime shots of bare-chested men in breechcloths dancing around a bonfire, swinging wooden handmade torches.