"Women in the Southwest" Summer Lecture Series
Slim Woman: Louisa Wade Wetherill of Kayenta and her Navajo Friends
From 1906 to 1944, Louisa Wade Wetherill and her husband John made their home among the Navajos of the Monument Valley area. Louisa’s neighbors gave her the name Asthon Sosi, “The Slim Woman”. Their respect for her was matched by her deep respect for their traditions, beliefs, and way of life. During their decades of mutual friendship, they worked together to preserve the ancient insights they had learned from their elders. Her voluminous records provide a window into an almost-vanished, authentic approach to life that is a powerful antidote to modern artificialities. The speaker, a great-grandson of the Wetherills, will present a synopsis of Slim Woman's interesting life as illustrated by historic family photographs.
Harvey Leake has, for many years, been researching the history of his pioneering ancestors, the Wetherills, who explored the Four Corners region, discovered archaeological sites, traded with Navajo Indians, and guided visitors into the backcountry. His investigations have taken him to libraries, archives, and the homes of family elders whose recollections, photographs, and memorabilia have brought the family story to life. He curated an exhibit that is currently showing at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding entitled “On the Gleaming Way: Slim Woman and the Kayenta Navajos.” Harvey was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona and is a semi-retired electrical engineer.