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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Bighorse the Warrior Paperback – May 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews


"A series of moving stories about an heroic and compassionate man—and the sufferings and endurance of the Navajo people." —Studies in American Indian Literatures

"A testimonial to the strength of the Navajo way of life. . . . Recommended for any reader who is interested in Native American ways." —Parabola

"The late Navaho warrior Gus Bighorse (born in 1846) passed stories and recollections on to his children. His colorful life, as remembered by daughter Tiana and retold in the voice of her father, is recounted in an unusual, illustrated volume. . . . This narrative makes clear those human qualities that define for the Navaho what it is to be a warrior, while also presenting the essence of Navaho culture." —Booklist

"A simple story that transcends the ages." —Journal of the West

From the Inside Flap

"I want to talk about my tragic story, because if I don't, it will get into my mind and get into my dream and make me crazy." When the Navajos were taken from their land by the federal government in the 1860s, thousands lost their lives on the infamous Long Walk, while those who eluded capture lived in constant fear. These men and women are now dead, but their story lives on in the collective memory of their tribe. Gus Bighorse lived through that period of his people's history, and his account of it—recalled by his daughter Tiana and retold in her father's voice—provides authentic glimpses into Navajo life and values of a century ago. Born around 1846, Gus was orphaned at sixteen when his parents were killed by soldiers, and he went into hiding with other Navajos banded together under chiefs like Manuelito. Over the coming years, he was to see members of his tribe take refuge in Canyon de Chelly, endure the Long Walk from Fort Defiance to Bosque Redondo in 1864, and go into hiding at Navajo Mountain. Gus himself was the leader of one of Manuelito's bands who fought against Kit Carson's troops. After the Navajos were allowed to return to their land, Gus took up the life of a horseman, only to see his beloved animals decimated in a government stock reduction program. "I know some people died of their tragic story," says Gus. "They think about it and think about how many relatives they lost. Their parents got shot. They get into shock. That is what kills them. That is why we warriors have to talk to each other. We wake ourselves up, get out of the shock. And that is why I tell my kids what happened, so it won't be forgot." Throughout his narrative, he makes clear those human qualities that for the Navajos define what it is to be a warrior: vision, compassion, courage, and endurance. Befitting the oral tradition of her people, Tiana Bighorse draws on her memory to tell her father's story. In doing so, she ensures that a new generation of Navajos will know how the courage of their ancestors enabled their people to have their reservation today: "They paid for our land with their lives." Following the text is a chronology of Navajo history, with highlights of Gus Bighorse's life placed in the context of historical events. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 115 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; Reissue edition (May 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816514445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816514441
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #674,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Matyowynne on January 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Tiana Bighorse is my grandmother's aunt and the Bighorse of the title is my great-great grandfather. I love this book. It was such a find for me to finally read it. I do not speak Navajo being half Navajo and half Nakota Sioux, so this story was never told to me. And anyway, during short visits to my grandparents no one ever had time to talk this away about our family history. I love it that Noel strove to retain Tiana's voice. My grandmother, her niece, cannot actually speak English as does her aunt, so it was neat to see what she might sound like if she actually did speak the language I do! All in all a real treasure. True, it does not go into great detail about the horrors of the Long Walk, but I loved some of the nuggets of wisdom she passes down from my long-gone grandfather. One is how he urged, like a modern psychologist that survivors of the Long Walk (he did not walk it himself, but fought as a guerilla fighter against the Americans) talk about their pain and losses. So many kept it inside them and it killed them. I also love her message to the young Navajo people about how this Navajo homeland was not "given" to us but it was fought for and people died and suffered for. My family now lives in Cameron on the Western side of the reservation, but when I drove across the vast Dinetah, which is the size of Ireland or W. Virginia, it gave me a great feeling of pride to know my family had lived all over that land. From Mt. Taylor, where Bighorse is originally raised, to Navajo Mountain where he lived as a guerilla warrior and finally in the Tuba City area, where my mom's family live now.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you have an hour to two hours, and have any interest in Native American History from an Indian perspective, Tiana's story of Bighorse is a gem to find! Short, but sweet, this biography was told out of love, but also told because the the Indian's perspective of American History is often muted and/or erased. This book definitely keeps their spirit alive!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Prechtl Legg on May 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty good book. The main focus is on the struggle of the Navajo people against the United States government. Tiana Bighorse's stories about her father that he told her make up this book's chapters. The stories are interesting and do a good job explaining the Navajo plight. The stories include fighting, running away, terrible atrocities commited by our government, and the struggle of her father and other warriors. On the whole the book is interesting and informative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sue Retzlaff on April 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've met the author - Tiana Bighorse Butler. Her pride shines through as she tells the stories of her father. Written in Navajo english, the reader is taken into the traditional navajo way of life. Wonderful stories give an honest perspective and a clear understanding of warriors in that point of time. Buy this book!! Compelling reading that you'll never forget!!
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