Erika Bsumek is Associate Professor in the Department of History, College of Liberal Arts.
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Examining varied sites of production-artisans' workshops, museums, trading posts, Bsumek shows how the market economy perpetuated Navaho stereotypes and cultural assumptions. She takes readers into the hogans where men worked silver and women wove rugs and into the outlets where middlemen dictated what buyers wanted and where Navajos influenced inventory. Exploring this process over seven decades, she describes how artisans' increasing use of modern tools created controversy about authenticity and how the meaning of the Indian made label was even challenged in court.
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