FAQ Credits and Forward

Copyright ©1997, 1998 Calumet Consulting, All Rights Reserved

It is illegal to use these questions in printed form without written permission or license from the author.

Most recent revision January 27, 1998

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Note: FAQ's or Frequently Asked Questions abound on the Internet. FAQ's provide a resource where the un-informed may find answers to common questions and leave the webmasters time to address the truly unique questions that continue to come along. This set of FAQ's were started in 1996 for foreign exchange students. There were severe cases of "culture shock" for some students. They arrived in Chinle at night, after a long journey from their home country. The following morning when they awoke and looked around them in the light of day, "Where am I?" was a common reaction. Some adapted, others never reconciled their expectations of ending up in a city or suburbia. While America is a large county, many only know it from televison. To them it is the land of Bay Watch, the Partridge Family, Grease, E.R. and N.Y.P.D. Blue. Once the questions were on the Web, students coming to Chinle were better prepared for what they found, but the culture shock was never completely eliminated.

The original collection of questions has been supplimented with common queries asked of others and by questions I receive over the Internet. Both questions and answers are based on my personal experiences and those of co-workers, friends and individuals serving the tourist trade. Some answers come from the Navajo Tribe's publications, still others are from interviews and observations, and from community members who edited the collection, or from fieldwork. If you see ways which we can improve the accuracy and/or general readability, please bring it to my attention. You may leave us a message using the E-Mail link on the main page. This purpose behind this document is to provide an accurate resource about the community and region. If anything is not right, we need to fix it! Hopefully, using this common collaborative approach, the final product will be better than what any one of us could produce alone. This will, in turn, benefit us all. There are almost two-hundred questions, with another twenty in progress. They require over sixty-five pages (depending on font size) to print, not including the index. A reader should bypass any questions that don't interest you. This document does not readily lend itself into being broken down into categories of questions, since it is in the form of an interview, but we are working on an index. The best way to find out about something you are looking for is to use your browser's "FIND" command in each of the three sections.

I have deliberately avoided some questions dealing with culture, or ceremonies. Although I have lived here for over fifteen years - working and raising a family - there remain topics best addressed by Navajo people. There are individuals who cater to visitors who seek to learn more than just looking at the scenery, by developing an understanding of a way of life. There are also topics I have avoided because they are not considered proper topics for discussion. What can be discussed openly about some aspects of culture, is governed by the seasons. Everything in its time. Some other authors include them. I choose not to.

I caution you: Learn to listen. In many ways, this world is the same as the one that you are familiar with, but at the same time, the solutions used here are often much different than what you may be used to using. "Shut your mouth, Open your Mind" is equally good advice. For the duration of your tour, make no judgements. Be willing to see a different world. Rather than just noting values may be different, ask yourself why they are different,

Recognition is given to: