Sign Language

Skeet McAuley, Author, Mike Michell, Photographer, Luci Tapahonso, Photographer Aperture $29.95 (78p) ISBN 978-0-89381-333-8
This book of 50 color photographs documents the lives and environment of Southwest Native Americans today. Aware of the stereotypes that poet Tapahonso describes in a short essay, McAuley focuses with ironic, deliberate wit on societal conceptions of the American Indian and of the ``wild west.'' We see children practising archery with storebought bows; a motor-scooter stands outside a traditional hogan dwelling; tourists take snapshots of a tiny herd of bison fenced alongside an interstate highway; a group of six tepees picturesquely dot an Arizonan vistabehind a sign proclaiming ``going out of business; everything price.'' The photos are punctuated by 10 short stories by Navajo ``Medicine-person'' Mitchell, who notes the continuity (rather than change) of Native American life. Sandweiss's ( Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace ) articulate, insightful essay describes the history of the American Indian as a photographic subject, and places McAuley's first book of photos in context. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
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