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Navajo Indians

Identifier: Film Collection no. 46

Scope and Contents

The cultural conflict resulting from differences in the basic way of life of the Navajo Indian and the white man in America, is discussed in detail on this program. Hosted by Charles Collingwood and Adventure science reporter, Robert Northshield, the program is enhanced by the expertise of Clyde Kluckhorn, chairman of Harvard University's Department of Anthropology and a leading authority on the Navajos. Paul Curtis and the American Mime Theatre act out pantomime interpretations of the ethnic heritage of the Navajos in a shadow play. The history and cultural conflicts of the Navajos are presented through discussions of textiles, paintings, sandpaintings and other aspects of their material culture. Colored sandpaintings produced ceremonially for medicinal cures create a great deal of tension as they are threatened by the white man's attempt to extract uranium from the desert sands. The Navajos in Gallup, N.M., are shown as a people who have lost their sense of tradition and consequently battle serious social problems such as alcoholism and unemployment.


  • 1953


Language of Materials



1 Film Reel (30 minutes) : sound, black and white ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (30 minutes)) : sound, black and white ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy

Other Finding Aids

Finding aid: script.


Original format: 16mm kinescope.


Originally aired Nov. 1, 1953 as part of the CBS/AMNH Adventure television series.



Charles Collingwood, host; Perry Wolff and Robert Northshield, writers; Leon Rice, editorial supervisor; Jac Venza, production design; Rosemarie Herman, supervisor of film; Paul Curtis and the American Mime Theatre, performers.

Navajo Indians, 1953
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
200 Central Park West
New York NY 10024 USA
(212) 769-5420