Navajo Film Themselves

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Navajo Film Themselves are films made by Dine people in 1966, part of the Through Navajo Eyes project funded by the National Science Foundation. The seven filmmakers are: Susie Benally and her mother Alta Kahn, MaryJane and Maxine Tsosie, John Nelson, Mike Anderson and Alfred Clah. Though initially intended as a study of visual language, the films were spread all over the world in film festivals and distributed to libraries and universities widely.

The Penn Museum Archives managed a restoration of the films in 2010 with the Library of Congress, and created this DVD, the first time the films have been available as video. The Archives and Museum arranged to send all profits to the original filmmakers and their families, the first time in many years of distribution for this to occur.

For more information on the films and the project, please visit


Two rates are offered for purchase, the personal use price and the second for colleges and libraries. The college and library price allows for public performance rights,(PPR) meaning that with this purchase you may show the film for a public screening. DVDs purchased at the personal rate may not be used for screenings.

For inquiries on digital streaming for colleges and universities please contact



There are plans to add extras to the streaming film, including an interview with John Nelson and a short film made by Richard Chalfen in 1966. Chalfen’s audio narration was added in 2016 with the help of the Museum’s film/media archivist.