American Indians •  Anthropology •  Southwest and Women

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Weaving Women's Lives: Three Generations in a Navajo Family

Louise Lamphere
Eva Price
Carole Cadman
Valerie Darwin

Louise Lamphere met Eva Price in 1965 in Sheep Springs, New Mexico, on the eastern side of the Navajo Reservation, while Lamphere was doing fieldwork for her dissertation in social anthropology at Harvard University. Over the next forty years, Lamphere developed a strong friendship with Price that expanded to include Eva's daughter, Carole Cadman, and granddaughter, Valerie Darwin.

When Price expressed her desire to pass along her teachings about Navajo life to her children and grandchildren, Lamphere saw an opportunity to pursue her own interest in writing a book on Navajo women that would encompass their transformative experiences through the twentieth century. Lamphere collaborated with Price, Cadman, and Darwin to create a narrative that highlights the voices of three generations of Navajo women, placing them within the context of the larger American society rather than presenting the Navajo as an isolated indigenous culture. Emphasizing the vibrancy and strength of Navajo culture, Weaving Women's Lives illustrates the process of incorporating new practices and ideas while retaining distinctive Navajo beliefs, values, and orientations. As individual threads are woven to create a unique pattern, so have Navajo women pulled together elements of Navajo and Anglo culture to create a new blueprint for their lives.


Eva Price is a member of the Navajo Nation and lives in northwest New Mexico.

Carole Cadman is a member of the Navajo Nation and lives in northwest New Mexico.

Valerie Darwin is a member of the Navajo Nation and lives in northwest New Mexico.

Louise Lamphere has been a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico since 1986. She is also former president of the American Anthropological Association.


"Rich, powerful, and endearing, (these) stories reveal the uncommon triumphs of common lives..."


New Mexico Magazine

"( Weaving Women's Lives) is a very personal and detailed work that describes how women have woven together Native and non-Native experiences. Highly recommended."


Choice Magazine

" unvarnished and generally engaging history..."


Western Historical Quarterly

"...a valuable ethnography..."


Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

6 x 9 in. 328 pages 41 halftones