Navajo Poker Game
By Elbridge Ayer Burbank
This was painted in the old Leonard building where Navajo men often gambled. The following people posed for this painting: Hastiin ‘Ayóondííl biye’, Tséyi Nééz Biye’, Striker, Apache [see HUTR 1930], Hastiin ‘Asaa’ Al’íní [Pot Maker], Tonto [see HUTR 1913], Diné Dil Biye’, Crazy, Clitso Dedman, Tsii’Ch’ilí [see HUTR 1941], and Jim Slivers.
Haskie Burbank visited the Hubbells on August 3, 1968 and identified one of the figures as his father. He said that his name was Tséyi’nii Ts’ósí and that his father died in 1945. Ts'osi worked for the Hubbell family. Haskie noted “There was a house at Hubbell where people use to play cards all night for about three nights in a row. People from different areas gathered there to win or lose. In those days gambling wasn’t prohibited like today...There were several men that played cards while their wives wove rugs. The Navajos use to gamble in the Leonard building [old trading post].
Oil on canvas. L 77.0, W 101.5 cm.
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site, HUTR 5277