Category Archives: Blog


Ten years since the DVD has been published, many things have occurred. Most significant was that thanks to the help of Teresa Montoya we were able to be in touch with Alfred Clah, who was still alive up until quite recently.

The films have gained a much wider audience in their distribution by Visionmaker Media, but as of November 2021 the DVDs are going to be self distributed by the Museum, and all profits go to the original filmmakers and their families.

In 2018 a generous gift was offered to the Museum Archives by Richard Chalfen, his own original cut footage for a film he hoped to make about the project, but never completed, as well as a set of original photographs, (some of which you see on this page.). Film/Media Archivist Kate Pourshariati and her partner Shapoor Pourshariati traveled to Boston to record Chalfen’s narration for the film, which gives an overview of the project from the point of view of the then quite young assistant, now retired after a long career as an academic in media studies. This new short film was screened just once in Philadelphia, but unavailable since, but soon will be made available as part of a digital video set, together with the original films and Pine Springs Then and Now, for colleges, universities and libraries. Please contact the Archives at for more information on how to order the set. As with the DVDs, all profits will go to the Navajo/Dine filmmakers and their families.

A man looking through a video camera on a tripod.
A woman seated on a chair, braiding fibers together while two others watch.
Two people in the brush, filming something with a handheld camera.
Filming a person working at a table in the shade, children watching.


Penn Museum Film Archives in collaboration with the National Museum of the American Indian Film and Video Center and the Center for Culture and Media at NYU will be presenting two films of the series Intrepid Shadows and The Spirit of Navajos, Sunday December 2 at the American Museum of Natural History. The Margaret Mead Film Festival theme for 2012 is Whose Story is it?  which seems a good fit for this project.

Speaking on this panel, which is moderated by Elizabeth Weatherford, (NMAI)  will be Mark Deschinney from the Pine Springs Community Association, Teresa Montoya (NYU), Richard Chalfen (Temple University emeritus) and Kate Pourshariati, Film Archivist, Penn Museum.

The moderator was Faye Ginsburg, NYU

Logo for Margaret Mead Film Festival 2012
 A screening sponsored by the Pine Springs Community Association and Teresa Montoya of NYU took place in January 2013, as reported in the Navajo Times