Day In The Life Of a Diné
My name is Carlynn Begay. I am a Dine (Navajo), photographer. I am of the Folded Arms Clan born for the Reed Clan. My maternal grandparents are of the Coyote Pass Clan and my paternal grandparents are of the Deities Dressed in Regalia Clan. This is how I introduce myself as a young Navajo woman. I’m originally from Round Rock, Arizona, but I was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona.
As someone who has grown up around art, I’ve always had a connection with expressing my creativity through the different forms of art. Photography has been a way for me to express my creativity through brilliant lighting and vibrant colors while also capturing memories. Creating vibrant colors gives my photographs characteristics and creates a mood of emotions. It gives my photographs life as if you are there seeing it for yourself.
As a Navajo photographer, my culture has become my inspiration for capturing photos. Through my work, I want to spread awareness to the general public of what life is like living on the Navajo Reservation with the lack of modern amenities. Not many people know the struggles, issues, and living conditions that our elders deal with living on the Navajo Reservation. While growing up, I lived in two different worlds as I like to call it. I grew up spending every weekend including the summer with my paternal and maternal grandmother herding sheep, goats, hauling water, woods, sitting under kerosine lanterns listening to traditional stories, taking care of livestock, crops, and attending ceremonies. My work gives my viewers an insight into what it’s like living on the Navajo Reservation from my perspective that the public isn’t aware of.
Each image tells the story of everyday routines and struggles my family goes through on a daily basis. My portfolio has allowed me to give my viewers a sense of understanding and insight into our everyday lifestyle compared to today’s modern-day Euro-American lifestyle.