Years ago, I was guiding hundreds and thousands of visitors from all over the world deep into Navajoland.
Most of the guests wanted to see the slot canyons and the wonderful light that is found within the Navajo sandstone walls.
Since I was fluent (and still am) in French, my boss at the time and I had numerous discussions on how we could visit many European countries and to an important degree, set the record straight.
Many stories of our people were being shared but unfortunately, these important stories of Navajo lifestyle were incorrect.
We attended many tourism and travel shows around the world where we would have “the stage” and through music, dance and much interaction, we were able to share portions of Navajo life with those far away.
(Getting off the plane in Berlin, Germany….)
We enjoyed it! We went to Berlin a few times, all over France and even Hong Kong. These were some of our favorite trips. On another occasion, we went to Hawaii and did a cultural exchange. It was wonderful.
Though the brains behind it all was a beautiful and always excited “chick”. Her name was Sandra. She was able to connect a lot of the logistical dots for us in terms of the events and she worked with The U.S. Commercial Service with a large emphasis on Native America.
We would meet many times a year and ultimately talk about how to effectively grow the business and at the same time, provide value that couldn’t be found elsewhere. And above all, have the many opportunities to “set the record straight“.
It was (and probably still is….) unfortunate to hear the question not only from Europeans, BUT even American’s, “WHERE IS YOUR TEEPEE?”
We never lived in Teepee’s. Never. Other tribes did but Navajo people didn’t. Along with that question, we would get asked if we ever went to school, if this, that and the other….
(Even in the past 5 years, I’ve heard other photography workshop leaders share ridiculous stories of our people. Sad – but true!)
At times, I would get frustrated but always remember to take advantage of the opportunity to share what was right and have these guests know more and more about Navajo life.
Through the medium of photography, I’m able to continue and convey wonderful and great stories of our people. The great moments and event the struggling moments with and without the Government….
Sandra was originally from back East. Virginia I believe. We never really talked about back East because she lived in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico. She would always rave and enjoy the rich culture she was in.
She would always say, “Hey dude!” and we had to refer to her as “Big Momma.” She was very caring and loved Native People from all different reservations.
Some of the greatest words I’ve read about being a photographer certainly have come from her. When I have those crappy days, I sometimes refer to her famous words and they often remind me to “Keep on, Mylo. Keep on….”
“…I have known Myron for several years now first getting to know him during the ITB Travel and Tourism Show which takes place in Berlin, Germany each year. Myron was part of my agency’s Native American Destinations booth for this show. ITB Berlin is one of the largest European travel and tourism trade shows and takes place on an annual basis.
Myron has a grace and gentleness about him and a wonderful personality which draws people to him. He is well spoken, very knowledgeable about Native American culture, and presents the essence of Native America through his dance, flute, photography and his very articulate communication skills.
His passion about his culture was evident to me in my observation of Myron during the ITB Travel and Tourism Show in Berlin. The way he interacted with people of all nationalities who visited our booth was warm and friendly and very effective. His dance performances during our cultural programs at the show were so beautiful and passionate. The audiences were quietly moved by his dancing and I could tell had a unique spiritual experience watching him and their first glimpse of true Native American culture. I know I did.
I am still moved by his dancing and flute playing. He completely understands the importance and significance of presenting a true picture of the Native American culture to international visitors, and potential visitors, to Native American/Indigenous lands in the Southwest.
With regard to Myron’s photography, again I would have to mention his passion for preserving and presenting Native American culture and landscapes in their purest form. His enthusiasm for his photography is evident in the care that he takes in selecting shots and in preserving them in the most honorable method.
I recall his excitement and enthusiasm when he first purchased his large format camera and called me and asked me to meet him in Albuquerque so he could show me the new camera setup. I witnessed that enthusiasm and pride again when he returned to Albuquerque a second time to show me a few of the plates/photos he had made.
I was very impressed with his work and purchased one on the spot which he carefully had framed and personally delivered to me. He tells me I was the first to purchase one of his large framed prints. I proudly display it in my home and am proud when I receive compliments from those who visit my home and see the photo. I am one of his biggest fans!
I have also visited Myron at his booth when he has participated in Indian Market which takes place in Santa Fe each summer. His photography fits into the caliber of other artisans at that Market which features the very best of Native America.
I follow Myron on his website and have been very pleased to see how his collection has grown since the day I purchased one of his prints. His website is also very impressive and illustrates his commitment to preserving and presenting Native America in the best way possible.”
The photograph (above) she purchased years ago didn’t have a title when I delivered it. But afterwards, I told her it would be titled “Sunrise Delight”.
Sunrise because that was when the image was taken.
Delight because she was always a helpful and delightful person to see.
See you in the great world of Spirits Sandra.
May you rest well.
Your Favorite Dude,