Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
When Walter Dyk published Son of Old Man Hat in 1938, he introduced most of the world to a remarkable youth: Left Handed of the Bitahni clan, adopted son of Old Man Hat. That classic anthropological autobiography was the story of a child, born before his time, who grew to be a humorous, sensitive and observant young man. Left Handed dictated this story, which he concluded with his marriage, almost a half a century after most of the events had occurred. Following the Second World War, Dyk returned to the Navajo Reservation for the rest of the story and found Left Handed's memory as bright as ever, and his bafflement, even anxiety, about relationships with women still the dominant theme of his recollected life. Nearly eighty, the old man narrated a story so rich in detail (especially since he was able to recall conversations almost verbatim) and so rooted in the texture of late nineteenth century reservation life, that the present volume of almost 600 pages encompasses barely three years.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1982