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SWS Senior Research

Teresa Taylor ('13)

Teresa Taylor presented her final senior project on April 8, 2013.

"An Interpretive Guide to Barr Trail and Barr Camp: Educating and engaging hikers to foster trail responsibility through interpretation of the ecosystems and the effects of human impact"

Teresa Taylor

Emily Capelin (’09 Durango, Colorado)


SWS Major Emily Capelin completes her graduation requirements with a presentation of her research to the Southwest Studies ~ Faculty Advisory Committee. May 4, 2009.

"Source of the Sacred: Navajo Corn Pollen"

"Hááne' Baadahoste' ígíí (A Very Sacred Story)"

Corn pollen’s sacred quality comes from generations of a connection between the Diné and their natural world. This connection is inherent in Navajo culture, and the basis of their ceremonies, rituals, and daily life. Corn pollen has a magical omnipotence. I previously mentioned that corn pollen has many associations, the most common one by non-Indians being the link to fertility. I have shown, however, that this is not necessarily true, and that corn pollen is more the Navajo ceremonial basis of prayer. That fine, yellow powder is used for everything in Navajo tradition, except one thing: corn pollen is never used for rituals or ceremonies involving death. All else—life, growth, food, ceremony, birth—all else is blessed with corn pollen. Full text