By Will Evans
Will Evans's writings should still discover a exact 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 so much of his fellow investors, he had a robust curiosity in Navajo tradition. the hassle he made to list and percentage what he realized definitely used to be strange. He released within the Farmington and New Mexico newspapers and different periodicals, compiling a lot of his items right into a e-book manuscript. His matters have been Navajos he knew and traded with, their tales of ancient occasions equivalent to the lengthy stroll, and outlines in their tradition as he, an interloper with out 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 thoroughly portrayed the operations of a buying and selling submit and knew either the cloth and creative worth of Navajo crafts. His artwork used to be frequently encouraged through Navajo sandpainting. He appropriated and, doubtless, occasionally misappropriated that sacred paintings to color surfaces and items of all types. 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 zone and farther west used to be operated by means of Mormons. they'd an important ancient position as intermediaries, or agents, among local and eu American peoples during this a part of the West. good attached on the heart of that international, Evans used to be an excellent spokesperson.
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Not so with Evans. He was very public in his views on how these two differing faiths coincided. While these thoughts are not discussed in the main part of this book, it is worthwhile for the reader to understand the context within which his writings are framed. Introduction Today, Evans would be considered an apologist. He was deeply entrenched in Latter-day Saint theology, and so his main goal was to show how Navajo beliefs connected to church dogma. He superimposed his scriptural knowledge over what he encountered in Navajo ceremonies and oral tradition to provide proof of his own beliefs and justiﬁcation for theirs.
Evans began his recording at the very beginning of his trading career with an eye toward publishing. Unlike many traders who share their memoirs after the fact, he intentionally collected material on a daily basis. His son Richard recalled how he worked at it “with two ﬁngers in the hunt-and-pick style . . ”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.
33 This was while Will and Sarah served as the ﬁrst mission president and matron of the Young Stake Lamanite Mission (1941–1943), a proselytizing effort that covered a good portion of the northern Navajo Reservation. Roy B. Burnham, stake president of the Young Stake, and Evans divided the mission into six districts. Not surprisingly, Burnham Evans in his den, Farmington. Sitting in a love seat he built and painted, he is applying the ﬁnishing touches to a table painted in Navajo sandpainting designs.