Thursday, April 8, 2010

Days in Arizona: Native American people 1


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.





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


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.