By Sharon Leslie Gearhart
Xlibris.com: 2015, 245 pp, $19.95
Reviewed by Virginia McConnell Simmons
The subtitle will lead prospective readers to believe this volume to be an account of the exodus of Navajo Indians to Fort Sumner. Instead, it is an amalgam of detailed descriptions of ceremonies that are incorporated into the narrative, descriptions of military personnel and events related to the period of 1858 to 1864, some text that appears to be historical fiction, approximately 25 pages of very well-researched history devoted to the Army’s campaign at Canyon de Chelly in 1863-1864 and a two-page epilogue about the internment at Fort Sumner. Although at times readers may not feel certain as to whether various parts of the text are historical fiction, anthropology or history, general readers with a special interest in the Diné will enjoy the book. They also will enjoy descriptions of the setting and activities in it at Black Mesa near Kayenta, New Mexico, Tseigi Canyon, the surrounding region and especially Canyon de Chelly itself.