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Intellect

New book describes relationship between Franciscans, Navajo

A Brigham Young University sociology professor has released a book relating the experiences of Catholic Franciscan missionaries among the Navajo people from 1898-1921.

Howard Bahr's "The Navajo as Seen by the Franciscans" describes the weaving together of two cultures that were forever changed by the experience. The work includes original accounts from diaries, correspondence and unfinished drafts, along with 12 rare black-and-white photographs.

A few of the chapters are more than a century old. The book includes both primary and secondary source materials and shares how many of the Franciscans came to live among the Navajo for their entire lives.

"I assume that most people like to pass on a good story or to share the atypical and the well-expressed experience," Bahr says.

"My immersion in the Franciscan archives has yielded much that, in my judgment, is worthwhile: much that illuminates Navajo history, that offers alternative perspective on events and trends, or that is surprising, amusing, occasionally compelling and often inspiring," he said.

For information on "The Navajo as Seen by the Franciscans," contact Howard Bahr at Howard_Bahr@byu.edu.

Writer: Devin Knighton

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