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Karl W. Luckert collection, 1971-1974


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Luckert, Karl W., 1934-
Title: Karl W. Luckert collection,
Inclusive Dates: 1971-1974
Quantity: 2 7-inch reels, 13 audio cassettes, 4 color slides
Abstract:Karl W. Luckert has written extensively on world religions and has taught at multiple universities throughout his career. This collection reflects his interest in Navajo healing ceremonies and includes sound recordings and slides from some of these ceremonies performed in the 1970s.
Identification: MS-172
Language: Material in English and Navajo
Repository: Museum of Northern Arizona
3101 N. Fort Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
928-774-5211 ext. 256 or 269

Biographical Note

Karl W. Luckert (18 November 1934 – ) was born in Winnenden-Hoefen, Wuerttemberg, Germany. Bteween 1941-1952 he apprenticed in the Malerhandwerk (painting and decorating) Gewerbeschule. He immigrated to the United States in 1953 and was a soldier in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958. He received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Kansas in 1963, attended the Evangelical Theological Seminary from 1963-1964, and received his M.A. in 1967 and Ph.D. in 1969 in the history of religions from the University of Chicago. Luckert has taught at North Central College (Naperville, IL), Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ), Southwest Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri), Aarhus University (Denmark), and the University of Ningxia (China). He has also been a research fellow at the University of Oklahoma, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Luckert has written extensively on world religions and has produced multiple documentaries on the same subject.

Luckert has been serving as professor emeritus at Southwest Missouri State University since 1999.

Scope and Content

Collection contains sound recordings of “Navajo Coyoteway” given by Jesse James Begay (Man-with-Palomino-Horse) for Luke Cook, and “Navajo Deer Huntingway” given by Claus Chee Sonny. Collection also includes 4 color slides of Navajo sandpaintings by William Charlie.


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is under review for culturally sensitive materials. Some parts of the collection may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished and published manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Related Material

There is further archival material related to Luckert in the Berard Haile collection at the University of Arizona (Tucson), at the Southwest Missouri State University, and the University of Chicago.

Controlled Access Terms

Ajilee (Navajo rite)
Navajo Indian Reservation
Navajo Indians
Navajo Indians -- Folklore
Navajo Indians -- Painting
Navajo Indians -- Religion
Navajo Indians -- Rites and ceremonies
Navajo art

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Copies of the Coyoteway cassette tapes exist at the Smithsonian Archives (Washington, D.C.) and the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (Santa Fe, NM).

Preferred Citation

Karl W. Luckert collection, MS-172 [Box Number]. Museum of Northern Arizona. Flagstaff, Arizona.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Karl W. Luckert in 1972 (Accession #MS-172) and 1975 (Accession #MS-212)

Processing Information

Processed in July of 2010.


Materials in the collection were used in the publications:

Luckert, Karl W. 1979. Coyoteway: a Navajo holyway healing ceremonial. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Luckert, Karl W. 1978. A Navajo bringing-home ceremony: the Claus Chee Sonny version of Deerway AjiŁee. American tribal religions, v. 3. Flagstaff: Museum of Northern Arizona Press.

Container List

Series 1: A Navajo Bringing-Home Ceremony 1971 2 7-inch reels, 1 audio cassette
This series contains 2 7-inch reel sound recordings of the Claus Chee Sonny version of the Deer Huntingway (Deerway AjiŁee) ceremony, and a cassette tape copy of the first reel.
11 Deer Huntingway recordings, 1971 2 7-inch reels
1 Deer Huntingway recordings, 1971 1 cassette tape
Series 2: Coyoteway: A Navajo Holyway Healing Ceremonial 1974 12 audio cassettes, 4 color slides
This series contains 12 cassette tapes and 4 color slides of the 1974 Navajo Coyoteway ceremony.
1 Coyoteway recordings, 1974
12 Sandpainting reproductions, 1974