Diné identity in the twenty-first century is distinctive and personal. It is a mixture of traditions, customs, values, behaviors, technologies, worldviews, languages, and lifeways. It is a holistic experience. Diné identity is analogous to Diné weaving: like weaving, Diné identity intertwines all of life’s elements together.
In this important new book, Lloyd L. Lee, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and an associate professor of Native American studies, takes up and provides insight on the most essential of human questions: who are we? Finding value and meaning in the Diné way of life has always been a hallmark of Diné studies. Lee’s Diné-centric approach to identity gives the reader a deep appreciation for the Diné way of life. Lee incorporates Diné baa hane’ (Navajo history), Sa’ą́h Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhǫ́ǫ́n (harmony), Diné Bizaad (language), K’é (relations), K’éí (clanship), and Níhi Kéyah (land) to address the melding of past, present, and future that are the hallmarks of the Diné way of life.
This study, informed by personal experience, offers an inclusive view of identity that is encompassing of cultural and historical diversity. To illustrate this, Lee shares a spectrum of Diné insights on what it means to be human. Diné Identity in a Twenty-First-Century World opens a productive conversation on the complexity of understanding and the richness of current Diné identities.
Lloyd L. Lee is a citizen of the Navajo Nation. He is an associate professor of Native American studies at the University of New Mexico. His research focuses on identity, masculinities, leadership, philosophies, and Native nation building.