Diné T'áá Bi At'éego, Wholeness as a Well-Directed Person: Navajo Narratives that Revisit the Work of Kenneth Begishe

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/272835
Title:
Diné T'áá Bi At'éego, Wholeness as a Well-Directed Person: Navajo Narratives that Revisit the Work of Kenneth Begishe
Author:
Brown, Gilbert
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
This grounded theory qualitative study explores conceptualizations of Diné T'áá Bi At'éego, "a well-directed person," held by eighteen Diné people, ranging in age from their 20s to 70s, from three distinctly different communities. By inquiring into personal attributes and abilities valued in Diné culture, the groundbreaking work of Navajo philosopher Kenneth Begishe is extended. The purpose of this study is to identify and document specific characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships currently honored and respected within Diné communities so they might be used to develop long-term Student Learning Objectives in the creation of a Diné culture based curriculum supporting the development of a strong Diné identity in students. The data, provided by participants through interviews, leads to the emergence of four umbrella categories (Thinking, Doing, Being, Achieving Harmony) and numerous sub-categories constituting the characteristics attributes, skills, knowledge, connections, and relationships valued and respected by the participants. The results are compared to Kenneth Begishe's (1968) model of "Diné T'áá Bi At'éego," in which he indicates important characteristics of a well-directed person. The comparison suggests that Diné people continue to value many of the same characteristics Begishe identified more than four decades ago. In spite of the affirmation of characteristics represented in Begishe's model, participants in this study provide a recurring theme that is not articulated by Begishe - the achievement of harmony, which, a review of the literature reveals, is closely related to three important aspects of the Diné worldview, K'é, Sa'ah Naagháí Bik'eh Hózhó (SNBH), and Hózhó. Study findings suggest that although Diné people who participated in the project continue to value time-honored characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships in people they admire and respect, they do hold several conceptualizations that seem to be shifting away from traditional Diné perspectives and toward those held in the mainstream. Study data further reveals four categories of narratives used by participants to communicate and emphasize characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships exhibited by those who are "well-directed." The narratives range from traditional accounts involving mythical elements, to first-person descriptions of individuals with whom participants were intimately familiar.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Diné T'áá Bi At'éego; Indigenous; Narrative; Navajo; Ontology; Language, Reading & Culture; Culture Based Education
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Language, Reading & Culture
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Short, Kathy G.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleDiné T'áá Bi At'éego, Wholeness as a Well-Directed Person: Navajo Narratives that Revisit the Work of Kenneth Begisheen_US
dc.creatorBrown, Gilberten_US
dc.contributor.authorBrown, Gilberten_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThis grounded theory qualitative study explores conceptualizations of Diné T'áá Bi At'éego, "a well-directed person," held by eighteen Diné people, ranging in age from their 20s to 70s, from three distinctly different communities. By inquiring into personal attributes and abilities valued in Diné culture, the groundbreaking work of Navajo philosopher Kenneth Begishe is extended. The purpose of this study is to identify and document specific characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships currently honored and respected within Diné communities so they might be used to develop long-term Student Learning Objectives in the creation of a Diné culture based curriculum supporting the development of a strong Diné identity in students. The data, provided by participants through interviews, leads to the emergence of four umbrella categories (Thinking, Doing, Being, Achieving Harmony) and numerous sub-categories constituting the characteristics attributes, skills, knowledge, connections, and relationships valued and respected by the participants. The results are compared to Kenneth Begishe's (1968) model of "Diné T'áá Bi At'éego," in which he indicates important characteristics of a well-directed person. The comparison suggests that Diné people continue to value many of the same characteristics Begishe identified more than four decades ago. In spite of the affirmation of characteristics represented in Begishe's model, participants in this study provide a recurring theme that is not articulated by Begishe - the achievement of harmony, which, a review of the literature reveals, is closely related to three important aspects of the Diné worldview, K'é, Sa'ah Naagháí Bik'eh Hózhó (SNBH), and Hózhó. Study findings suggest that although Diné people who participated in the project continue to value time-honored characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships in people they admire and respect, they do hold several conceptualizations that seem to be shifting away from traditional Diné perspectives and toward those held in the mainstream. Study data further reveals four categories of narratives used by participants to communicate and emphasize characteristics, attributes, skills, knowledge, practices, connections, and relationships exhibited by those who are "well-directed." The narratives range from traditional accounts involving mythical elements, to first-person descriptions of individuals with whom participants were intimately familiar.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectDiné T'áá Bi At'éegoen_US
dc.subjectIndigenousen_US
dc.subjectNarrativeen_US
dc.subjectNavajoen_US
dc.subjectOntologyen_US
dc.subjectLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
dc.subjectCulture Based Educationen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineLanguage, Reading & Cultureen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorShort, Kathy G.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberGilmore, Perryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEvers, Lawrence J.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcCarty, Theresa L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberShort, Kathy G.en_US
All Items in UA Campus Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.