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or a hanging and in a way a la la la la la la it actually at a bay ipa half days the navajos story goes that in ancient times doing it he knew the holy people hurt the price of a baby on a mountaintop santa baby girl i'm an update of flowers and she was the daughter of night came down they took her to raise is one of them
at the time of her first demonstration they created a canal at the ceremony to honor and bless her and she grew into a powerful supernatural being a mother who gave birth to the navajo people and ensure their survival of future generations she was a name to hear a he gave all navajo growth economic the ceremony so they too would be honored and blessed for their womanhood are and i wanted to change my name when they know about babies born a special person is chosen to name the baby i was the only one of my family born in the hospital when the hospital asked for her baby's name my mother told him she wanted to wait until she returned
home to give me my name at the hospital insist that an english name for their first certificate jermaine really know i received a man named keeper as with most cultures the navajo people have their own unique way of defining the coming of age of their children some cultures they should do so and now girls get their first man sees maybe come to know that the fourth day ceremony also called canal is given for them now families and at the command as a way of guiding their daughters from childhood to adulthood
mm hmm i first heard about this turn a clear from our mother sarah she told me that the senate is our spiritual mother and about how important to these to the daily lives of our people she is most important to the girls when they reach puberty my niece thirteen year old time new shepard test now reached that point in her life i wanted to come to tanya ceremony because i never had a canal rose i wanted to know if i had any connection to my navajo world that i left many years ago also wanted to know the power and spirituality of the sacred ceremony i had only heard about
this is where i spent the first six years of my life my mother father of four sisters and two brothers lived above this canon at steamboat arizona on the navajo reservation a great many horses and cattle in the nineteen thirties the united states government had to destroying many of them because of overgrazing people lost their livestock their livelihood my father left the reservation and found work in a copper mining town of humor and say in southeastern arizona just as our fleeting school age life in the mining town was so different from iris of haitian life for me it was exciting
for my parents it was a tremendous adjustment my parents did not speak english had never been outside the reservation never lived in a city hampshire i believe it was during this time that my mother saw the benefits of life outside the navajo world for me she then set me on a path that lead me further and further away from their reservation i am from any cultural connections that i might have shared a night like enough for me when i was twelve my father retired and we moved back to the reservation time for my command to have already passed reservation for school and later a career it
is i asked my sister jane why i was not given to get permit for every navajo girl she said it was probably because of school and then i was away from the reservation she had already had their ceremony get warmer and flee the poem my journey begins we're left her new ceremony has been sent out to the community already the origination for the you know funny at but a key as inmates at the heightened sixteen
shots up at dawn they were to things up to and i hope can they said they advise a city yet there and then they now by little begin by me because i am not a baby put out what a big ydstie's april a book i had left it open cyclist open a bottle not certain that giap he got on cheney's turn his grandmother she takes seriously her responsibility of kerosene are people's tradition to the children tanya knows very little of what the ceremony is about yet she understands that her right of passage is important to her and her family through her right of passage her identity and her connection to her people and culture will be clarified in established
i wanted to look at an anti new ceremony to understand can help them and to perhaps least that was my connection more now mobile world perhaps by being a part of time yes i can recapture a little bit of something precious that belongs to my people that should have been mine and what's not but how can something that has been gone a lifetime be recovered while edgar and see i didn't really think about one way or another but now that my parents are gone like to sunset grown then i have accomplished most of what i had accomplished i began looking back over my life and i see that world peace is a mystery really shepherd this time his grandfather bill he served in the army in world war ii to an elk an hour and
was wounded in battle he knows english but we're not speaking to his grandchildren there is how he teaches them their navajo way they're critical to the whole healing nicely so much of my own father farming and ranching our heritage they both shared every spring my father took us you can't buy the corn fields neighbors came to help man plowed a winning planted the children water to corn at harvest them in whispering in a prop for the women and the children would husk the corn the yellow blue and white corn whiskey was
for our meals and four ceremonies like now that i'm a comic con a sweet corn cake that cannot demonstrate for her ceremony just as a sign that it was cry fifty eight it's thinking oh no time his mother ella conflicts only the best light corn to make the current she returned to turn out just right it's something she will proudly tell others about a perfect it was house we thought thank you nathan out the almighty awkward manner of things in mobile stands alone not
only his homage in such is not the only the summit was on moving convoy yeah it and not by israel it though i go to the end zone nine vinnie it really happened ag as the preparation for the event gets under way a medicine man is engaged to combat the rich well any woman named to look like a girl through the ceremony is selected and tony tiniest father most petroleum to feed a large number of protests against expected this is so much a part of my memory as children we learn to treasure the animals interested to us we
knew they were never going to keep ethan them a way for children to experience all aspects of life by being a part of fluttering it is easier to let go we're going to offer a prayer for the animals we were taught to respect their gifts to us and i think that the pope has but he's been clean
the sheep oh so remind us of the long and in detroit history of breaks out but the nine states government in from aging sixty four to eighteen sixty eight while the civil war was raging in other parts of the country the navajos were rounded up and heard it from their homeland in arizona across hundreds of miles to eastern new mexico after four horrendous years of thing can't meet the united states finally signed a treaty with the navajos when they released the army gave each family three sheep to raise their livelihood within a few years guthrie grew into thousands
ms bb despite their atrocities they experienced a novelist never considered themselves they conquered people their values and cultural practices like you know that survived for the continued efforts of the people and now most scholars like mike mitchell and i've got to be awkward here i've been to the area of the interior of your race how the nation regarded bipartisan dust which he i can i've got some evolved object the diesel says only about thirty tea join us i've got the navy yard of us to the concept of men into the house to contradict him not his own because our book i thought that was just good
editor william mayville in a car which a doctor wondered its he does that on the urgent that the secret of talking to this if a huge cost and fear you know because to the navajo people a son in playing today referred to as changing moment is a universal symbol of womanhood of birth and read there from the moment the ceremony began with every step tanya takes into ritual she moves forward into the spiritual realm closer to becoming
permanent to show her the way my mother sarah was not much older than tiny when her parents died she was left to take care of her brothers and sisters and her grandmother she was fourteen when the united states began taking navajo children to schools far from their homes not to return for years her grandmother didn't want her to go away so when the officials came to their home her grandmother put her in a gunny sack and he had her in a corner she was left behind when they took her brothers and sisters i know how she wished she had gone to school i often wonder what might have been had she had the chance the country my mother like nelly has guided many young girls
do their right of passage that in the novel that you people in command that they're beautiful blankets and other valuables for her use and blessing in return she will be graced with such things this play and valuables and beautiful things and enhances the likelihood that they will increase in kind children are
so important to get a close look and knowing their turn will soon come seeing children at the ceremony reminds me of the joint children brought to my mother she used to save children are our riches and happiness after the preparation and canal de stressing her hair is ritually tied signifying to start out the ritual at a timeless mythic alto wanted someone kind and strong to guide her daughter she chose her aunt millie in whose footsteps of time or follow when a young girl comes of age when you invite the person that you
admire the most you go to them and tell them that you want that person to tie that i cannot pass a hair salon that it's like letting her with that too the pushback has been the reason why we chose my are her grandparents used to living alone and she knows a lot of things like and when livestock and keeping the house she does that all by herself so i really admire her she's deeply into their culture and their traditional things and she's very fluent in navajo so that's what i want my daughter to know more about i'm going to walk away
meantime her hair symbolically retains and sustains all that she is to be graced with during her cannot die for her journey in life time is now ready for her first moldy old anonymous believe that during a girl's mind and body are supple and open to any influence you her mentor person's duty happiness prosperity and strength into her from the top of her head to the soles of her feet she is shaped into a hole an ideal human form the patients being the pain it's people receive their valuables that they think that you know the four to honor of her use of them
as they think her they understand that as well but you know we cannot go most times each day during a ceremony children and others into running with iran although no one gets past her thank you i'm not the ability actually be only people seize on the economy has contracted that supported the whatsapp are at the indian and vhs copy of the er
the da ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba thank you thank you a recurring characters when she pushes herself to go farther to get a n n n n n n n n n that day
everyone went to tanya to do well individual or than success in meeting all the requirements and shows that she's ready for the role she's about to sing during her ceremony came out i cannot have sugar salt or too much sleep she must exhibit behaviors and attitudes that are pleasing the lessons are to leicester a lifetime returning to the right of passage to that ancient time when it was first created for a son that there is a way for the navajo people to reaffirm their cultural identity right right turnover nc was located deep within these powerful mountains
i felt as if i was on my way to visit my parents again is after her first run the pit of unease measured dug and prepared for the con on the east side of the ceremony a large political ad et at it must be perfectly round to follow the shape of the sound which embodies the power of live at people are so meticulous about every part of the ritual i can understand how navajo women are so strong what they learn what they go through what their
ceremony gives them everything they need to live while the women carry out the details of the ceremony the main chant would haul water and dig the pit up and it's all you the man who nurtured listen to they fire an ally you too i wondered why not build a permanent stone kind of and it can be used over and over again but i realize that every conductor must have one made just for her the more i learn from the people at the ceremony the more i began to feel a part of the celebration in the treaty of eighteen sixty eight the
united states promised the navajo people's growth on their reservation yet for nearly a century no schools were built for navajo children instead thousands of navajo youths were sent off reservation boarding schools and other states the result for the navajo children worst loss of contact with their language and culture you know fortunately though the navajo people never let go at their ceremony for the children it's bad because
of the pain you know they know what area fifty eighty k according to dave infectious in the house in its own economy to have a payroll on vanity enough to eat it became you know that's a horse enough to bathe and such a seasonable recently she can then it was on their banners and it cannot grow cannot power the hickey at a bit of a voice a key is that the key show what you change it to be a creative outlook outlining gibson happen they feel politically risky effort to get it no other time in their lives with her mother and daughter still belong to each other within the four days of hurting now
and the role places her entire being in the hands of her mother at night you know there are two things i would get one is grinding corn it is physically demanding any particle ceremonies for deeper
she didn't know on accordion not only a path forward to be enough we'd done the idea that he is the true probably do that in a couple of football for the past twenty to eat in libya what can nominate for food before but now and couldn't go through a levy it's b the pentagon
we have as i watch this and then i understand how important a rite of passage is to an entire culture the firm our daughter is acknowledged and celebrated when they reached this transformation will go they yearned to have a greater connection and greater meaning for their community beyond their families and beyond themselves it
was fb you know that gets help from others but she must do most of the grinding herself after two days of grinding corn came out the places the cornmeal into for directions she then gives the cornmeal to others to help makes one of her helpers is her uncle peter the pope here has three daughters who will soon be having the canal there the whole family and the community will help them at that time he knows the physically demanding work involved set is carrying that hot water to mix the cornmeal
assad makes scene takes place on the third day an even number of police with sticks tied together is used to mix the cornmeal is remembering their own stirring sticks some of them for many years and were given them when they had their own canal is egypt's during state represents a female lawyer who protects and guards the woman when canal that receives her steering stick she accepts the warriors guardianship for as long as she possesses them by this time i've begun to see the ceremony from their point of view with every element of the ritual taken on a life of its own
when we lived at valencia juliet and her family took care of our livestock she's older than me by some years and i always looked up to her when i left the reservation back then she stayed i recently learned that she never went to school because she was needed if i didn't know if i should be sad or pleased for her that she missed being a part of the greater universe outside her own sanctuary julia is like the land she is routed to and changing sick york and beautiful meeting hurricane was like seeing my life as it might have been as it was when i was a child she tells me that the old people think oh world oregon but i could see them all in her face
i mean when my parents moved back to the reservation they were happy they brought back new things new ideas my father went back to tending his livestock my mother had seen and experienced opportunities and possibilities she made many changes in her community for her work and effort brought electricity and running water into a reservation home that's it for three days now nelly has guided the young girl through the intricate path to adulthood along with higher and others have also been working nonstop the poem it is only what's in a girl's life that she will be honored in this way of a little bit
of a fight because i think what they think what he said and i'm a fan now it was just recently as my mother got older she spent the winters with us and the city we had lost my father in nineteen sixty eight and she was along our children grandchildren and great grandchildren of whom she had many by families live close to her but the winters were
hard on her and she wanted to be with us and we came to know one another again and she taught me how to weave she would tell us navajo story she talked about our spiritual bond to our creator and the spiritual themes i wonder now why ask are the reason i was given maybe i realized i was not so important perhaps as being with my mother was enough it was during this time that i began to notice you forget things more and more there were not too many winters left me i don't want to you can they were just in the arctic oscillation a while yet he caught the hudson school body it is that the they to protect it makes
that could be in the us so chloe hooper the pantheon to know about i don't know when the water will apple out as a non profit over the government in the village of the faith that the fifth oh all right
and they knew about the mouth of the quotable caught one night it's a toothbrush to court and in this community the fifth fleet is one of the main its duties is to keep the fire burning all night long to make sure it is now the last night of the ceremony while time bakes the ritual begins in the ceremonial lived in
everyone joins the medicine man as he conducts the final ritual that fulfills that came after power of regeneration legacy know it's good it's the last night at the ceremony if i had hair like it is the toughest for all came out there she met sit on the floor all night with blake stretched out in front of her she must not sleep know i'm asleep for this night is also the most sacred ancient words of the holy people and their songs are revealed and interested to her by the medicine man up to this moment it has been a mentor and the women who have got a tiny after the ritual tonight only the medicine man and a mentor or will guide her to the pinnacle of her journey
it is he was
right yeah and this last morning after a ceremony she is said to be more than a human being she has been made wholly so that she can claim her place into another rivers empty one with an unclear she is a personification perfect woman earth and returned as her task by repeated for the last time the ceremony is no more of a joyous celebration of renewal for the navajo code move she is a sermon to hit the first came out there it is sen janek who showed how important a woman's role is in the survival of the navajo people
every cannot that is empowered by the ceremony by the women who nurtured cannot eat and i mean who support the women in the ceremony they end next if ut and sea since he hunched man thought it all it volatility or gloomy mansion though non the marathon though you're not you know a mathematical man he thought my arm and he didn't get the name of
a crypto nazi scott kelley a condition has said a few minutes ago with the north a lot of the pieces are not that nasa not think i think about though they say you know that now possesses the healing power of the senate play people approached tanya one by one children want to be tall she stretches them a poem as a navajo it was simply want her blessing to sound like her uncle william happ special request indeed
the pope tanya has gone through a transformation in the same way as the son of king as a symbol of their lifecycle changes along with the ever changing seasons spring summer a winter and spring again the patients each day at dawn she is a young girl as well as the day progresses she met two hours until the end of the day he is old and wise when the next on a ride she is again young beautiful and vibrant
thank you oh son uday had the whole one so it joan and that that's a lie but they cannot pay down today at a basin on the debt now and a crop of people in this piece of cargo thing as a laptop just one day for one man eating cyclists lisa lunt the athletes and now but the hudson and not the heart that don't miss the bail today but they put a eight and yes i did the time is ready the calls have been removed from the oven and other hand has been cooling during the last moments of the vigil
conspicuously missing courtenay it out at a party they will call a baby and yet the victorious happy at a dozen of song up above the wind one summer day i went out to see my mother again i knew she'd be sitting on her date looking out the window towards the highway in the distance i sit next to her and took her hand in mine when she smiled at me and asked me a patient and who are you my mother passed away at christmas time in nineteen ninety
one tanya went to ride a passage to establish our place in the navajo universe i went to search for mine he wants to tanya began her journey from that ancient time when canal that was first created for changing moment i spent with the truth the memories of my childhood a mccain tomorrow and say that may i wanted so much to again see the town where i first learned to speak english
or i bought my first comic book and so my first movie the town of marines it's been mind under the town like childhood is gone except in memory or in to do junior in new turnout is still a thirteen year old girl you cannot that has shown her that her family and everyone in that community care about her and that's what she's going through is the connection not just to herself but
to every navajo who ever went through the ceremony and every now behold you ever will or are she now has the knowledge that she is a part of our nine ending chain between her and her people from the past are people in the future i became a part of my hair
clawing their tumor and say and back to the reservation was like returning home and i came to know my mother again i can smile at her now because i realize that it was not any particular place you're at my parents who shaped my life my mother and father lived their lives as they give you they lived the courage drank unhappiness that time and i learned at the canal bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum my journey took me back to the places on my childhood for that piece of my life i felt i was missing bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum i found bomb but my mother gave me my ring signaling it's a bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum i just flew away a little too soon and
rarely until now i'm in an on and on on and on on and on on and on and then mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm mmm our people returned home from the government isn't many years ago when they were made you have returned and found that i never really yeah it is it is
Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage
Producing Organization
Indian Summer Films
Contributing Organization
Vision Maker Media (Lincoln, Nebraska)
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Program Description
A Navajo filmmaker turns the camera on herself and her family as she documents the kinaalda, or coming of age ceremony, of her niece. Telling her own personal story, the filmmaker provides a rare insider's look at Navajo culture and the complexities of growing up Navajo in contemporary times.
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Social Issues
Local Communities
Race and Ethnicity
Copyright 2000 Indian Summer Films
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Moving Image
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Director: Carr, Lena
Producer: Carr, Lena
Producer: Carr, Aaron
Producing Organization: Indian Summer Films
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Vision Maker Media
Identifier: 2013-00332 (VMM Inventory #)
Format: Betacam: SP
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:57:14
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Chicago: “Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage,” 2000-00-00, Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage.” 2000-00-00. Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Kinaalda: Navajo Rite of Passage. Boston, MA: Vision Maker Media, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from