American Indians •  Folklore and Music

$19.95 hardcover

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We'll Be in Your Mountains, We'll Be in Your Songs: A Navajo Woman Sings

Marilyn Help
Ellen McCullough-Brabson

When the Holy People gave the Navajos the gift of music, they said, "We'll be in your mountains, we'll be in your songs." This collection of Navajo music and the accompanying recording is a remarkable collaboration between a university music professor and her one-time student, a traditional Navajo who teaches on the reservation. It is an in-depth examination of twelve Navajo social songs and includes rich, detailed explanations of the culture and customs that surround both contemporary and traditional Navajo music. Marilyn Help, crowned Miss Navajo in 1977, offers direct insight into what it is like to be a Navajo woman living within the challenges of a contemporary society. At the same time, she is a cultural beacon striving to pass on traditional Navajo ways to her family, students, and friends.

This book also includes explanations of traditional Navajo dance steps, notations on hand movements for selected songs, a discography, and sources for recordings and videos. Accompanied by a CD of twelve songs sung by Marilyn Help, this book is designed for people of all ages seeking to celebrate Navajo music and culture.

"I consider this book to be a treasure."--David P. McAllester, Professor Emeritus of Music and Anthropology, Wesleyan University


Marilyn Help, a culture bearer who lives the traditional Diné, Navajo way, teaches in the Ch’ooshga Community Schools on the Navajo Nation.

Ellen McCullough-Brabson is professor of music at the University of New Mexico.


"The title of this remarkable book reflects the words of the Holy People . . . The gifts and lessons that the book and its music offer underscore the beauty of traditional Navajo lifeways . . . Truly, this book carries the power and the beauty of the Holy People's message: 'We'll be in your songs . . .'"


Native Peoples

". . . this book is a treasure and a delight. . . . a fascinating intertwining of information . . . a celebration and a gift of Navajo stories and music that will resonate long after reading the words and listening to the songs."


New Mexico Magazine

"Illustrated with black and white photos, color plates, and maps, this oversized book includes a high-quality audio CD recording . . . This superior title is highly-recommended for teaching Native music and for all collections on Navajo culture."



" extraordinary work...beautifully illustrated...truly one of the best offerings this author has seen..."


Pueblo Chieftain

8.5 x 11 in. 192 pages 16 color plates., 12 halftones, 2 maps