Thursday, April 8, 2010

Days in Arizona: Native American people 1

2/18
一睡もしなかったおかげで飛行機では爆睡。気づいたらフェニックス空港に到着。
空港からバスに乗る事3時間、ようやくグランドキャニオンふもとの街、フラッグスタッフ(以下フラッグ)に到着。窓から見える荒れた赤い大地をみながらアリゾナを感じていた・・・と言いたい所だけど、やはりバスでも爆睡。写真は途中の休憩所と、フラッグの終着駅。

2/18
Slept like crazy in airplane, and bus from Phoenix to Flagstaff. Not much re-collection except for red sandy horizon stretching out. Photos are some anonymous rest area on the way, and Flagstaff's Amtrak/Bus station.


2/19
早朝4時頃起床。泊まっているのは、フラッグスタッフにあるネイティブアメリカンの家。
今回の滞在でお世話になったラメーサ一家は、4年ほど前に当時アリゾナに住んでいた親友の紹介で知り合った、メディソンマンの血をひく家族です。

彼らが仕事の都合で車で3時間ほど離れたGallupという街に行くという事で、一緒に連れて行ってもらい、そこで現地日本人フォトグラファーの河野謙児さんと合流。あまりにも事がうまく運びすぎてびっくりですが。

謙児さんは初対面にも関わらず、親切にインディアン保留区の中心地とも言える、ウィンドウ・ロックの案内を丸一日してくれました。ナバホ族の博物館、議会所、ウィンドウロック(岩に穴が空いていて、窓のようになっています)、そして圧巻なキャニオン・デュシェーまで、色々ナバホ族の歴史や現在、文化、様々な側面を日本人の立場、ナバホの立場から教えてくれました(彼の奥さんはナバホの方です)。

ラメーサ一家と話しても謙児さんと話しても共通して感じるのは、彼らは自分たちの独特の文化や自然を敬う精神などに非常に誇りを持っているという事です。長い歴史の中でさんざんアメリカ人に虐げられてきた中これを守るのは相当な苦心であり、近年ではやはり若い世代との感覚にギャップが生じてきているのも見受けられました。どこかの国と似ている.気がしますね・・・。

2/19
Woke up at 4 am, in a Navajo family's house in Flagstaff. I met this LaMesa family, who took a great care of me, about 4 years ago through my best friend. They are inherited medicine people, and very warm-hearted. 


We headed off to Gallup, which is about 3 hours away, for their job, and it was very timely for me as I wanted to meet this Japanese photographer who lives out there in Navajo reservation. 
His name is Kenji Kawano (same name as me!), who Lamesa family picked up when he was hitchhiking about 20 years ago, and I decided to meet him. 


Kenji-san took me around in reservation, mostly the city called Window Rock, where Navajo congress is, near the rock named the same. He was well-respected among Navajo people, and we were welcomed at places we went. He took me around to Navajo museum, Canyon de Chelly, etc... and we talked about Navajo's culture and history as well as his life story. 


I learned that Navajo people are very respectful, and are proud of their unique culture. It's so hard for them to conserve it under American's forceful influence in a long history, but their effort is respect-worthy. I also realized there's a generation gap, which I could see the similar one in my home country, "Americanization". 


                                            
photo by Kenji Kawano


2 comments:

mrsmommyb said...

Awesome post! Kenji is my father and I was Googling his name and saw the photo he took of you. :)

KFH said...

Awesome! Please give my best regards to Kenji-san. He's a wonderful man, and this is absolutely my favorite picture! Hope to see you the next time I visit.