Books by Monty Roessel

Released: March 15, 1996

In the new Success series, a history of the Navajo Arts and Crafts Enterprise (NACE), a tribal cooperative founded in 1975 to encourage Navajo silversmiths, weavers, and other craftsmen. Trahant intersperses the story of the cooperative's growth with biographical sketches and interviews of the Native Americans who work in the business: craftsmen, buyers, store managers, accountants, sales clerks, and publicists. Although these are interesting pieces, they interrupt the flow of the historical narrative, which often resembles an annual report. The book achieves its modest goal of showing positive role models for others of Native American ancestry, a goal which Roessel sets out in the introductory comments: ``I am tired of outsiders stepping into my community and supposedly telling `our story.' It is time that Navajos tell their own story.'' Add this to the shelves on contemporary Native American culture; it may also be of limited use in the business section. (b&w photos, index, not seen, appendix, glossary) (Nonfiction. 12-14) Read full book review >
KINAALDA by Monty Roessel
Released: Dec. 15, 1993

By ``a Navajo photographer and writer who specializes in contemporary Native Americans,'' a clear, strikingly photographed account of 13-year-old Celinda McKelvey's coming-of-age ceremony, set in its historical context (such traditions, nearly lost in the 1950s and -60s, are coming back along with renewed Navajo pride). Described are specific details of costume, the making of a corn cake that's cooked overnight in the ground, the gathering of the extended family to help and share the celebration, and the ceremony's symbolic meaning. In glowing color photos, the reservation's natural beauty is represented by such sacred sites as Shiprock, while Navajos are depicted using a mix of new (store-bought clothing) and traditional items (Celinda's hand- woven dress). Unusually authentic and attractive; an interesting comparison to Seymour's The Gift of the Changing Woman, which depicts the similar Apache ceremony. Also just published in the ``We Are Still Here'' series: Sandra King's Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer (ISBN: 0-8225-2652-2). Bibliography. (Nonfiction. 8-12) Read full book review >