We Walk in Beauty

Rex Redhouse, Navajo

Rex Redhouse

Given name: Rex Peter Redhouse
Date of birth: November 20, 1919
Place of birth: Teec Nos Pos, Arizona (near four corners)
Tribe: Dine, Navajo
Maternal clan: Bit'aanii
Paternal clan: Kontachiinii (The Redhouse Clan)
Year photograph was taken: 1998

Do you have a specific memory that stands out in your mind when you were young?
"I distinctly remember my father's advice in which he said, "When you meet a person, shake his/her hand firmly and then look him/her in the eye until he/she looks elsewhere." Also, he said, "Through and by education, learn the skill and profession of the non-Indian and you will be as good as he is in whatever he does." I kept this advice in mind in receiving my college degree and retiring from the federal service as an accounting supervisor."

How is your life different from your parents or grandparents?
"While I am still the same person, my style of life has radically changed. The struggle to exist for basic needs, such as, subsistence food, manual labor, lack of utilities in a one room Hogan, transportation by horse and wagon, no medical facilities being available, were difficult. After military service during World War ll and receiving academic training in college and moving off the Navajo reservation, I obtained the means to integrate into the contemporary life style. However, the rich native cultural and spiritual visions have enriched my life."

What traditions from the past do you still continue to practice?
"My childhood experience and exposure to the tribal cultural customs and traditions were ingrained and became part of me. This has given me a deeper appreciation of my parental influence and tribal traditions and customs. The urge to share the cultural influence has resulted in my starting a family performing arts Native American dance group. The group performs a variety of dances and songs for the public to inform the attendees of the origins, significance and purposes of the dances."

What was your impression on having your photograph taken?
"I was somewhat cautious because my photograph might be used for commercial use and sold for monetary purpose which would not benefit me. Later, I was assured that this was not the purpose, which calmed my suspicion."

What do you see for the future?
"By passing on my cultural background to my children and grandchildren, they will carry on the presentations of the dances to the public."