By Will Evans
Will Evans's writings should still discover a specific area of interest within the small yet major physique of literature from and approximately investors to the Navajos. Evans was once the owner of the Shiprock buying and selling corporation. most likely greater than such a lot of his fellow investors, he had a robust curiosity in Navajo tradition. the trouble he made to list and percentage what he discovered definitely was once strange. He released within the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and different periodicals, compiling lots of his items right into a booklet manuscript. His matters have been Navajos he knew and traded with, their tales of old occasions similar to the lengthy stroll, and outlines in their tradition as he, an interloper with no educational education, understood it. Evans's writings have been coloured through his fondness for, unusual entry to, and friendships with Navajos, and by means of who he used to be: a dealer, people artist, and Mormon. He safely portrayed the operations of a buying and selling publish and knew either the cloth and creative worth of Navajo crafts. His artwork was once regularly encouraged via Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, without doubt, occasionally misappropriated that sacred artwork to color surfaces and items of every kind. As a Mormon, he had specific perspectives of who the Navajos have been and what they believed and used to be consultant of a giant category of often-overlooked investors. a lot of the Navajo exchange within the 4 Corners sector and farther west was once operated through Mormons. that they had an important old position as intermediaries, or agents, among local and ecu American peoples during this a part of the West. good hooked up on the heart of that international, Evans was once a great spokesperson.
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Extra resources for Along Navajo Trails: Recollections of a Trader 1898-1948
69 Between 1924 and 1954, he frequently contributed to the local paper, The Farmington Hustler. He persisted for years, recording lore, biography, history, and observations as he went. Although he worked on this manuscript for eight years, he was never able to bring it to fruition. In 1945, he bequeathed all of his materials to Richard, who showed more of an interest in it than the other children. ”70 Richard took his charge seriously. For thirty years, he safeguarded and performed light editing by shortening some of the longer sentences and removing some of the anachronisms in the writing style.
Evans responded at length. ”55 Evans believed that “the white man is superior in many respects to the colored races. In the arts and sciences he has proven that, overwhelmingly. At best, the colored races are but copyists. . I have learned that the white man has a mysterious something . . which the Indian has not . . ” Having thus shown he shared some of the racist attitudes of his times, he still asserted that the Indian has been “in touch with that ‘Higher Power’ for many, many generations.
He, like his father, never completed the task. His daughter, Susan Evans Woods, next assumed the responsibility. She continued the light editing process and helped organize the materials into a sensible scheme. She estimates, when comparing the original to this manuscript, that 95 percent of the writing remains in Will’s voice and that all of the content is present. Today, Evans’s materials reside at the Brigham Young University Library. This includes over sixty sandpaintings of various sizes, the “Navajo Trails” manuscript, approximately one hundred pages of Navajo folklore and teachings, and all of Evans’s other writings and correspondence.