Saturday, June 1, 2013

Jake Livingston Interview - Lukachukai Mountain

It was another event-filled day on the Navajo Nation for members of the 2013 Navajo Oral History project on Friday, May 31.

The student team that is working on a documentary journalism film about the life of Navajo-Zuni silversmith Jake Livingston of Sanders, Arizona, had to get up early to drive to his place and prepare for the interview.

On the way to the Livingston home, the students and faculty stopped at the Fort Defiance Indian Hospital to shoot video and photographs of large painted murals in an atrium lobby created by Baje Whitethorne Sr., another of the Navajo elders featured in documentary films this year.

The group had an interesting visit with Jake and his family, listening to more of his stories and watching him work on a piece of jewelry. 

On the way back to the Diné College campus, the group stopped at a grocery store to pick up things for an afternoon barbecue hosted by Miranda and Vernon Haskie at their family's sheep camp high in the Chuska Mountains above Lukachukai, Arizona.

(above photo by Whitney Harlos)

At the barbecue, Vernon Haskie brought a sheep along, so the students could try their hand at shearing sheep. (Don't worry, the sheep just got a haircut; it didn't become dinner.)

Madison Duncan was the first WSU student to try shearing the sheep.

Skylar Ogren

Nik Strand

Whitney Harlos

Tom Hays

Shiloh Gulbranson

Jolene Kuisle

Laura Humes finally got up enough nerve to give it a try.

Darin Strohmenger

Danielle Wieczorek

Cara Mannino

Brett Gustafson

Adam Maciejczak

Skylar Ogren (right) helps Vernon Haskie bag the wool.

Vernon Haskie led a short hike to the edge of a mountain overlook and showed a sweat lodge on the family property and described how it is used in some Navajo ceremonies.

Shiloh Gulbranson

Tom Hays
(above two photos by Whitney Harlos)

(above photo by Madison Duncan)

The Haskie Family seemed to enjoy the time on the mountain with the Winona State University students. 

Ben (in tree) and Albert Haskie

Kaitlyn Haskie
(above photo by Whitney Harlos)

Ben Haksie

Fred Haskie: Fred is the mascot for the Navajo Oral History Project. He was just a tiny puppy in 2009 when the first year of the project started with WSU students visiting the Navajo Nation. Fred has grown up with the project.

On the way back off the mountain, Vernon led the group to two cool spots on the mountain with great overlooks for many miles: beautiful views.

Tom Hays perched high for a better view.

(above three photos by Jolene Kuisle)

Hmmm. Seems a bit dangerous....

Darin Strohmenger
Laura Humes

Skylar Ogren
(above three photos by Cara Mannino)

Laura Humes found a horned toad. These are considered to be very good luck in Navajo tradition. The person who finds a horned toad is supposed to place it on their chest and stroke it ensure good thoughts and a clean heart.

(above photo by Madison Duncan)

Brett Gustafson sniffs some crumbled sage to help clear his sinuses.

Robbie Christiano catches a nap while students skipped stones in a mountain pond.

Skylar Ogren

Laura Humes

Skylar Ogren and Darin Strohmenger

It seemed like a contest to see who could get the most skips and the longest skips. It's hard to says who won... but the top finishers were certainly Brett Gustafson, Vernon Haskie, Skylar Ogren and Darin Strohmenger. Laura Humes received "most improved skipper" honors as she increased her average skips per toss from one to six or seven.

Now here are several thoughtful and interesting images by Darin Strohmenger:


And finally (for today), a serene mountain pond scene.
(above photo by Madison Duncan)

It was another fun day, with learning and cultural exchange throughout.

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