Low Mountain Trading Post, Arizona

Encyclopedia Article


This relatively low elevation mountain is also the site of a census designation community. The mountain stands between First Mesa and Balakai Mesa, near Polacca Wash in Arizona. Not large enough to be considered a town, the location does include a Navajo Nation chapter house. The Navajo Nation government system consists of five agencies (Chinle, Crownpoint, Fort Defiance, Shiprock, and Tuba City) with several local chapters within each agency. Each chapter has an administrative meeting place known as the chapter house, where the community gathers to discuss a variety of issues concerning life on the reservation.

A trading post, which seemingly no longer exists, was also once located in the area. A trading post is an establishment where goods can be traded. It is also a social center where news and gossip are exchanged. Trading posts have been associated with American frontier culture since the seventeenth century. Over time, trading posts developed into a cultural institution at first funded and backed by empire, later by national interests, and most often by enterprising business men.

Photo Credit: 

"Keams Trading Post, Arizona," photograph, Ben Wittick Collectn (016473). Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New Mexico History Museum, Santa Fe. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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