Big Mountain Dine
I made these photographs of the Big Mountain Dine’ in the summer and fall of 1978. I then was working on a project to document Navajo People threatened with relocation from their traditional homes in the Big Mountain area. Big Mountain is not really very big. It is a mesa covered in pinion and juniper, but, for the Navajo, it is a place that is sacred and especially cherished. It is a place where Dine’ go to pray and make offerings for their livestock and to gather sacred and medicinal plants.
Now I have revisited my photographs of the Big Mountain Dine’ after thirty years. Originally shot on black and white film and printed in my darkroom, I have scanned my prints, digitized them and now present them in a new way on antiqued paper bounded by a protective rainbow. I love the process of re-working my photographs and presenting them in a new way.
According to congress and the courts the land dispute is over. A zigzag barbed wire fence divides the land. But the Big Mountain Dine’ still live with the consequences. Isvaki Gallery displays these photos to remind us not to repeat the past decisions about our indigenous neighbors: the Hopi, Navajo, Apache, Haulapai, Yavapai, Havasupai, Tohono Odham, Mohave, Ute and Piaute.