Over the past four decades Susie and Effie Yazzie, have shown visitors to Monument great hospitality. They have graciously welcomed people into their Hogan to photograph and experience the rich traditions of Navajo culture. Many have been privileged to witness the beauty of Susie carding wool and weaving rugs and Effie driving the churro sheep on horseback at Moccasin Arch.
Sadly, Susie, the Matriarch of Monument Valley, passed away on Sunday, February 3, 2013. She was a grand 98 years young. A woman of great dignity and wisdom, Susie's journey was rich in tradition and history. As a young girl, Susie was left to care for her younger siblings when her mother passed during childbirth and her father abandoned them in grief. With her new found responsibility and little resources she turned to trader, Harry Goulding for help. Goulding in turn traded rugs for groceries and other necessities and kept a watchful eye over Susie and her siblings.
For most of her life, Susie's trade was weaving, but during the 40's, 50's and 60's, she worked in bit parts in some of John Ford's films including My Darling Clementine and Cheyenne Autumn. She also supported her family by posing for tourists, whom she fondly called her "visitors" and with weaving demonstrations.
Susie's given name is Adzani'bah, meaning woman warrior; a befitting name for this strong resilient woman. The Matriarch of the Todicheenie Clan, Susie was blessed with five children, 24 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and 16 great-great-grandchildren.
Her journey on earth was long and legendary. For all of us who have been fortunate to bear witness to her traditional Navajo life, treasure that gift, for we have lost a remarkable lady.
- Professional award-winning Phoenix based photographer specializing in event, travel, concert, motorcycle and marine wildlife photography. Celebrating what's right with the world is the hallmark of George’s artistic portfolio resulting in images that leave people touched, moved, and inspired. email@example.comOwner, present
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