Elle Ganado wife of Tom Ganado

Tom’s Ganado mother and some of his white friends succeeded in persuading him that eight wives were seven too many. Out of the eight Tom chose Elle, who, strange to say, is the only wife who has borne him no children.

Elle Ganado

Elle Ganado

Tom and  are wealthy, as Navajos count wealth, owning several flocks of sheep and goats (which are cared for by Tom’s army of grandchildren) much turquoise, wampum and an abundance of the typical Navajo hand-wrought silver jewelry.
Tourists who have come to know the old couple wonder if they do not long for the life and people of their home country. They do, occasionally, and visit the reservation, but always return before they had intended. Thoroughly Americanized in their mode of living and sanitary habits, Tom and Elle soon tire of the filth and superstition of their tribe.
To their white friends Tom and Elle exemplify everything Navajo, but to their relatives at home they are sorely contaminated by American cleanliness and are earnestly besought by the medicine men to give up their dangerous habits of bathing and changing clothes occasionally.

Most photographers posed Elle with Navajo children. usually girls. Although usually identified as her children, she had none, and these were likely those of other craft demonstrators or Tom’s grandchildren from an earlier marriage.

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