America's First Warriors

America's First Warriors : Native Americans & Iraq

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Even though they were not granted citizenship until 1924, Native Americans have served in all of America's wars. During World War 1, 12,000 served and in World War II, 44,000 (out of a total population of 350,000). In 2006, Clevenger, himself of Osage descent, began a three-year project following Native American soldiers into war in Iraq and back home again. He wanted to document the warrior tradition, the war experience, and to reveal the cultural acceptance sometimes withheld from American soldiers. In 2006 he attended a yellow-ribbon welcoming-home ceremony in Rio Rancho, New Mexico for the New Mexico National Guard men and women. Clevenger was embedded with these and other Native American military in Iraq in 2007 and, again, in 2009. While there, he shot candid moments of the soldiers at war and conducted interviews in a combat zone. He also captured stirring moments of grief, apprehension, and the day-to-day life of the war weary Iraqi people. The resulting images and interviews with Pueblo, Apache, Navajo, Osage, and other Native men and women comprise America's First Warriors. In addition to the photographs taken in Iraq, images of traditional coming home ceremonies such as the War Mothers' Dance, Welcoming Home/Cleansing Ceremony, and other rituals are documented. In attendance were family members and elders including veterans of previous wars, including famed Navajo code talkers of World War II. This book is an eloquent tribute to the Native American warriors, men and women, who have served in all of America's wars.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 128 pages
  • 260 x 285 x 17.27mm | 1,034g
  • New Mexico, United States
  • English
  • 107 colour photos
  • 0890135649
  • 9780890135648

About Steven Clevenger

For three decades Steven Clevenger has photographed conflicts and wars around the globe, including recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. His photographs have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including Newsweek and Time.
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