We Walk in Beauty

Craig Goseyun, Apache

Craig Goseyun

Native name: NDED GUHYANEH
Given name: Craig Goseyun
Date of birth: March 31, 1960
Place of birth: Honolulu, Hawaii
Tribe: San Carlos Apache
Maternal clan: Black Water Clan
Paternal clan: Natural Erosion on the Side of a Hill
Year photograph was taken: 1997

Do you have a specific memory that stands out in your mind when you were young?
"Between the years 1972-74, before my grandfather died in 74', he brought me and my cousins, all boys, in his yellow '57 Chevy pick-up into the mountains. Us boys had sling shots and small bows and arrows. My grandpa would use a long pole to disturb the pack rats from their prickly pear cactus homes. We would tie strips of yucca lance shaped leaves together around our wrist with the rats hanging from their rear legs with their tendons keeping them in place. For dinner, my grandpa boiled, and fried them. They were white, sweet, and tender, a delicious delicacy. The rats were clean "being in the mountains" and their food being the sweet prickly pear cactus."

How is your life different from your parents or grandparents?
"One thing is obvious, that teenagers are disrespectful towards the elders and the land and wildlife. The wildlife is less abundant on the reservation. My grandparents were wealthy from the cattle industry between the 30's and the 70's of last century. My parents were strict disciplinarians and my dad gave us a good work ethic, encouraging us to higher education. I see many of the younger generation just give up and are couch potatoes."

What traditions from the past do you still continue to practice?
"I have participated in the healing ceremonies of the Apache Holy Grounds and hoping to learn the sacred 32 song. I help my friends, family, and relatives during the Sunrise ceremony or the Rites of Passage ceremony of a girl going to womanhood. My mother, aunts, grandmother, great aunts and sisters have gone through this ceremony. I have been a cowboy like my grandfathers, my father, and uncles. I respect my hunting traditions."

What was your impression on having your photograph taken?
"I must be a very handsome guy. Just kidding! It could be a recording for the photographer, maybe for the Arizona State Museum, or a museum art event. It may be possible to get a copy for myself, especially being with my daughter Srila. Me, and my little girl were pleased with the shot."

What do you see for the future?
"I've attended my tribal counsel meetings. I have seen struggles and difficulties presented, but the counsel members are doing a professional job of dealing with the constant obstacles. I'm in favor of our progress as a nation in these rapid-paced times."

Craig Goseyun

About the sculpture in the photograph:
"Blue River Woman". What came to mind was that there is a flat plain near where I lived, nothing but cactus, rocks and desert. I was on horseback, and a box canyon came before me... about 200 feet deep and 600 feet across. Inside the canyon there was a stream of water the color of turquoise, with birds flying all over, trees, many petroglyphs... LIFE. The area was called Blue River. The water, and all the important sources of nature, inspired me to make "Blue River Woman."