years ago a black metal box of 35mm color slides taken of
the Navajo people of Monument Valley in
the 1950s was discovered in the
basement of a house in Prescott, AZ where it had sat
unopened for more than 30 years.
Copies of these Navajo photos are archived
at the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
These beautiful and historically important
Navajo photos are some of the first and finest color photos
ever taken of the Navajo. They
innocence and simplicity of Navajo life at a time of transition
in Navajo history.
When these photographs of the Navajo people
(the Dine') and the Navajo lifestyle were taken the Navajo
people enjoyed being
photographed. This was partly because of the role
the Navajo played in the many movies made in Monument Valley.
The Navajo were gracious hosts who openly shared Navajo
friendly Navajo style with those who expressed a genuine
interest in Navajo life.
Earl Waggoner was a friend of the Navajo.
He was an award winning photographer, an anthropologist and
an avid student of Navajo life who loved the Southwest and
the prints of Edward S. Curtis and Josef Muench these historically
important photographs of Navajo lifestyle were taken with
the consent and permission of the people being photographed.
Because of his love of the Navajo, and their
respect for him, Earl was invited to photograph Navajo
ceremonies and other situations seldom photographed. His
attention to detail, superior photographic technique, and
bent reveal not only a love of the Navajo but also an extraordinary
sense of light and an ability to capture the spirit of the
Navajo people. (more)
Brian Ahern, Publisher
Sedona, AZ 2005