Thursday, October 8, 2009

Landscape Journal (01) - Whoppers, Hogans & Navajo Code Talkers

"I'll get a Whopper Jr, Small Fries, and an Audio Tour."
Navajo Reservation - Kayenta, Arizona
Museums, interpretive centers, parks - all are common keepers of our history, providing tales of extraordinary individuals, monumentous battles, and moments of courage.

Many municipal and public settings often dictate where and how we engage our history.

So what happens when we're presented with relics of the past outside of this context? Say, sandwiched between a fast food franchise and an economy hotel?

On the Navajo Reservation a traditional hogan and a one-room museum/gift store bridges the parking lots of Kayenta's Burger King and Hampton Inn (the Burger King also has a Navajo Code Talker exhibit). Framing the interpretive area, rows of struggling, but persistently defiant, corn plants.

It all seems random. No doubt catching many a traveler off guard; leaving them bewildered and slightly curious.

It works though, and pretty darn well. This interstitial space could just as easily be another leftover landscape - a developer's afterthought.

Yet, it exists as something more, lending the story of the local Navajo to thousands of unsuspecting visitors every year, leaving us with something more than a value meal or a simple night's rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment