The Blessing Way (1970)

The Blessing Way (1970)

saw-whet owl

Saw-whet owls (Aegolius acadicus) are small owls that are native to North America. They have small heart-shaped faces and cat-like eyes. This owl is found throughout North America; they tend to roost in trees. These owls are primarily nocturnal and their call is a high-pitched "too-too-too."


A type of deciduous shrub or tree that can be used for medicinal purposes, for erosion control, or timber, in addition to many other uses. Willows are located throughout the world, and in the U.S. Southwest, one can find several different species of willow, including the arroyo, desert, and Navajo willows. Their shoots have been used by Native Americans for basketry purposes and for the construction of temporary structures.


A small rise in elevation on the landscape or a small hill.


A chemical compound also known as silicon dioxide (SiO2). Silica is the most common element in the earth’s crust and can be a main component of many rock types, such as quartz.


More often spelled bilagáana, this word is an Anglicization of the Navajo word used to refer to people who have white skin.

Four Corners, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah

The four corners refers to the spot in the southwestern U.S. where the corners of four states meet. It includes the northwestern corner of New Mexico, the northeastern corner of Arizona, the southwestern corner of Colorado, and the southeastern corner of Utah. The borders for these four states are also unusual because they run along straight lines and do not follow longitudinal lines, latitudinal lines, or natural boundaries. The Navajo reservation is centered almost exactly on the four corner boundaries and extends into three of the four corner states.

Correspondence Regarding The Blessing Way, 1969-1972.

Digital renditions of correspondence relating to The Blessing Way are currently being prepared for online publication. Researchers may wish to visit the Center for Southwest Research to examine the original correspondence.

The Blessing Way, Assorted Draft Pages and Notes.

This manuscript is not a formal draft per se; it appears to be a grouping of notes and rough drafts of individual chapters for The Blessing Way. The pages are heavily edited throughout.

The Blessing Way, Draft, p.5-205.

This is a typed draft of The Blessing Way, which is quite similar to draft 4 (MSS 501 BC / B01-F04), in that the page formatting, ink and typewriter paper appear to be the same between the two. This draft is also missing pages 1-4. Light editing and correction are visible throughout.

The Blessing Way, Draft, p.5-225.

This draft was originally 225 typed pages, however pages 1-4 are missing. It appears that this draft has been edited by someone other than Tony Hillerman - the editing style is somewhat informal so it is possible that this draft was reviewed and edited by Hillerman's wife, Marie.


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