Rick Dingus
Photographic Works

Navajo Places
1991- 1993

artist statement:

Working under the direction of Will Tsotsie and Annie Kahn, I photographed natural landmarks throughout the Navajo Nation. These points of interest, seen near the road by anyone who passes, indicate many overlapping worldviews: traditional, contemporary, sacred and secular. To those passing through, such places may represent interesting features in an unfamiliar landscape. To traditional Navajo, they are markers of familiar terrain "between the four sacred mountains" that they call home. Such places serve not only for geographic orientation, but for cultural and spiritual orientation as well. Different portions of the Navajo Creation Story took place at specific locations all throughout this land. The stories connected to those places serve as reminders for lessons hard won; they indicate a proper code of conduct to maintain harmony, as well as a means for restoring balance when it is lost.


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