Old Antelope Lake

Mike Anderson

Anderson was born in Pine Springs, and was educated in Gallup and Phoenix. He also spent three years working in San Francisco. At twenty-four, Anderson joined the Navajo project, most likely as a way to earn money in order to attend barber’s school.

Old Antelope Lake (12:37) 

Description excerpted from Through Navajo Eyes (271).

“In this film Mike decided to make a movie about a lake. First he shows what turns out to be the source of the lake, or the mouth by which it is fed. He proceeds to move sun-wise…around the lake showing a variety of details of both animal and plant life.”

“He also has a sequence of shots of his younger brother washing clothes at the lake. The sequencing of shots in the film follows an almost exact natural order. That is, not only must the sequence be in a sun-wise direction around the lake, but also certain shots must be followed by the appropriate animal and direction of action.”

“The time element isn’t very important in this film. Scenes that were shot in the morning appear later in the film than scenes that were shot in the afternoon.”

“What was important to Mike was that we first saw the source and then moved all around the lake showing the unity between the natural things and the human beings in the environment.”


Worth showed Anderson’s  film at Swarthmore College in 1966, and in Washington, DC in 1967. No documentation has been discovered which suggests that Anderson was informed about these screenings.

The film was also shown in 1980 at a panel discussion at the University of New Mexico, [Elizabeth Weatherford, National Museum of the American Indian]

In 1982, Anderson, Mary Jane Tsosie, and Richard Chalfen screened some of the at a film conference entitled “The American Indian Image on Film: The Southwest,” organized by the Native American Studies Program at the University of New Mexico.

In 2011, the films were shown at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona.