Valerie Albrecht is at the Apma Aboriginal Gallery
Valerie Albrecht, author of 'The Story Behind the Story' is at the APMA Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra to talk about her book, a gripping biography of a Navajo medicine man. Native American traditions are rich and enigmatic to many, with populations sadly dwindling and protectiveness over the culture that remains. In this book, Valerie Albrecht, Australian Biographer of Indigenous Peoples, writes the life, work and world views of Elroy Begay, a Navajo Medicine Man who unexpectedly invited her to do so. The telling and scripting spread over four years of meetings and conversations, living within his family and community on Chinle Reservation Arizona, attending and assisting his ceremonies and researching. Included is knowledge on the Navajo Creation story; time honoured traditional medicine and ceremonial practices which are permissible to be written; information on reservation family life and Elroy's philosophical perspectives. As well, Albrecht shares her processing of what proved to be an intensely paradigm shifting experience for both herself and Elroy. Clearly interwoven through-out, is Elroy's creed and core principle of acceptance: acceptance of your history, your culture, yourself and your uniqueness, and for the ‘hand' you have been dealt - Elroy is a paraplegic medicine man living, practising and being cared for between two ways of life and two sets of health conventions. He tells The Story Behind the Story to preserve it and to bring hope and pride for his people.
17, Mar 2017
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