Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Navajo Curator Seeks To Preserve the Culture of a People.

Byline: Diana Heil Journal Staff Writer

As Edsel Brown puts it, museums are a new concept on the Navajo Nation.

After six years of frustration as the self-taught curator of the Ned A. Hatathli Museum in Tsaile, Ariz., this September Brown accepted a fellowship in collections management at the Indian Arts Research Center of the School of American Research in Santa Fe. He is learning basic conservation techniques and computer cataloging.

The Navajo Nation's oldest museum, The Hatathli opened in the mid-1970s on the Dine College main campus and is invaluable but remains scattered, Brown said. He's unsure exactly how many objects are in the collection.

The museum has a two-person staff and a scant budget. His being paid as a part-time employee was a monumental task. Brown tried to care for a large collection, including some objects obtained through repatriation laws, without proper climate controls. …

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