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ERIC Number: EJ867166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
"Enemies Like a Road Covered with Ice": The Utah Navajos' Experience during the Long Walk Period, 1858-1868
Hornsby, Sarah; McPherson, Robert S.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v33 n2 p1-22 2009
Much has been written of the Navajo Long Walk period when the Navajo people, following what appears to be a fairly short resistance, surrendered in droves to the US military, collected at Fort Defiance and other designated sites, then moved in a series of "long walks" to Fort Sumner (Hweeldi) on the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. There was much that preceded these events. Stretching back to the beginning of Euro-American occupation of the Southwest, the Spanish initiated a slave trade against the "wild" or unsettled (non-Puebloan) Indians that pitted various groups against their neighbors. Two major players in the arena were the Utes and Navajos. They shared relatively few years of peace, remaining generally in a state of warfare that simmered somewhere between hostility and open conflict. As with so many colonial wars, the beginning of these tit-for-tat reprisals is lost to history, but its constancy is not. Spanning the Spanish, Mexican, and early territorial period of the American Southwest, the slave trade was a prime source of fuel for intertribal conflict and provided the owner of captive Indians with labor to enhance comfort and spur economic development. Much of what characterized this period of history and Navajo/Ute relations is comparable to what happened to other peoples in different settings. This article's focus is to look at the Navajo story, not that of the Utes, and to understand the experience of those who did not go to Fort Sumner. Of primary concern are the Navajos in the north, mostly in Utah, and how they recalled events before, during, and after the "Fearing Time" (Nahonzhoodaa') that extended from roughly 1858 to 1868. During this period Navajo and Ute relations, having previously vacillated between uneasy friendships to outward hostilities, reached their zenith in open conflict. (Contains 87 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Utah