Meeting the Medicine Men
A chance meeting with a young Navajo Indian propels an English traveler out of his middle-class London life and into the world of the North American Indian Medicine Men, where people genuinely believe that witchcraft can bring ruin and even death. Only the Medicine Men have the knowledge to do battle with witches, lift curses and restore the sick to health. The larger-than-life Blue Horse is one of a dwindling band of Medicine Men traveling the vast Navajo reservation of New Mexico and Arizona, ministering to the victims of evil spirits. Charles Langley, former London newspaper editor, finds himself serving as Blue Horse's bag carrier and chauffeur, eventually becoming his apprentice. He sees Blue Horse perform incredible feats - predicting the future, uncovering the past, curing the sick and communicating with spirits. At first bemused by what he sees, Langley attributes Blue Horse's successes to chance, luck and fraud. But logical explanations soon fall short. In Meeting the Medicine Men: An Englishman's Travels Among the Navajo, Langley studies the accumulating evidence that Navajo Medicine Men really can cure the sick, change history and foretell the future. Through the tale of his fascinating journey, Langley explores a culture that has endured since the Ice Age but is now cracking under the overwhelming pressure of the modern world.
CONTENTS Lucky Dat The Skin-Walker Blue Horse Cursed of Suburbia The Sweat Spirit of a Snake The Grave Sacred Sacrament Visions
Charles Langley has spent much of the last three years living among the Navajo Indians on their reservation studying traditional healing rituals. A former night news editor of the Evening Standard newspaper in London, Langly is now a student of anthropology at the University of Mexico in Albuquerque.
"The fascinating and gripping account of a serendipitous turn of events that leads Charles Langley deep into the world of the Navajo. An extraordinary and illuminating book." - Adventure Travel, August 2008 "Langley penetrates the Indian reservations of New Mexico and Arizona to investigate the mythic power of the Navajo medicine men, taking part in traditional healing ceremonies and rituals. Travel writing with an MBS twist." - The Bookseller "Set against the scenic backdrop of the American Southwest, Langley's book is an almost perfect blend of memoir, Navajo culture and travelogue." - The Tucson Citizen, May 22, 2008 "[Langley] dives into the inner workings and customs of the medicine men and the Navajo with a child-like obsession, coming across as hungry to learn and smitten at the same time. His sheer enthusiasm is one of the book's highlights. For Langley, a former newspaper editor from London, his journey becomes his life, and the book becomes a memoir, travelogue, history lesson and cultural critique, all mashed together.... Langley also pays a great deal of attention to the Navajo land itself.... Unkempt dirt roads and ramshackle outposts in remote corners of the reservations come alive. Famous natural formations the nation is known for, including Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly and the San Juan River Gorge, all are written about in wonderment. Langley's devotion is pure, resulting in an absorbing and educational look into the medicine men most of us know nothing about." - Brian Park, Tucson Weekly, June 19, 2008 click here to read the whole review! "The fascinating and gripping account of a serendipitous turn of events that lead Charles Langley deep into the world of the Navajo." - Camden New Journal, August 7, 2008 click here to read the whole review!