view from Long House
SHIPROCK, NEW MEXICO – The Longest Walk 5 – War on Drugs and Domestic Violence walked and ran from Gallup, New Mexico to Shiprock, New Mexico. Diné people and John Funmakers people joined the run and walk. In Shiprock, Larry Emerson introduced himself and immediately disavowed his colonized name, saying he does not even know what it means. He said that peoples real name are only spoken in ceremony.
Describing his home Larry said, “at one time, there was nothing here but the hogan, the medicine man who blessed the hogan, said he saw many faces, different races in this hogan.” Larry also said when he introduced himself, ‘my name is Larry Emerson, that is a colonized name and that I have no idea what those two words mean except they come from boarding school.”
Larry stated Navajo people have real names that are only spoken in ceremony but they also have a community name, They are a matrilineal people. The name of Larry’s mothers clan is a description of a rock formation that looks like a person sleeping south of Albuquerque. These people are also related to the Mescalero Apache in fact they have the same clan name.
Larry’s home is a community home and he has an open door policy for his community and that includes The Longest Walk 5 walkers, runners and helpers. He started this policy around 1989-1990. If someone in his community is weary or in need of shelter, Larry obliges and lets them stay in his Long House. He heats the long house with a rocket stove, which is a fire that heats a big tank which heats the room and has another pipe heating a bench that can be used for sleeping.
When we left Larry did a traveling ceremony for us to be safe. He used corn pollen and laid it out in all directions and he gave us an item off the alter for us to make our individual prayer and offering.