Blessingway: With Three Versions of the Myth Recorded and Translated from the Navajo by Father Berard Haile
Wyman, Leland C. Blessingway. University of Arizona Press, 1987. Hardcover.
Condition Good + (only because Dust jacket is missing, otherwise Very Good +). Spine is slightly cocked. Otherwise a near perfect book with clean pages and clean blue boards with silver lettering.
This volume has been nearly forty years in the making, and is the result of an enormous effort involving many Navajos and non Navajos. The three versions on which the book is based were provided by Slim Curly, Frank Mitchell, and River Junction Curly, and were recorded by Father Berard Haile during the period 1930 to 1932. Father Berard continued to work on the texts until his death in 1961, considering the publication of Blessingway as his most important work on Navajo culture. Father Berard’s unfinished manuscript was turned over to the Special Collections Division of the Library of the University of Arizona, through the enterprise of Bernard L. Fontana and the cooperation of the Franciscan Fathers of Saint Michael’s and the Saint John Baptist Province of Cincinnati, Ohio. From there the unfinished manuscripts were given to Leland Wyman, a professor emeritus at Boston University. Wyman, although formally trained in biology and physiology, has had an interest in Navajo culture and especially Navajo religion for some thirty-five years, and is the author or co-author of numerous publications on the Navajo. Blessingway is undoubtedly one of the most important works ever published on the Navajo, and no student of the Navajo or of religion will want to be without it.