Museum of New Mexico Press


America's First Warriors

Native Americans and Iraq

Steven Clevenger, Photographer

Native Americans have served in all of America's wars, although they were not granted citizenship until 1924. Clevenger's photographs of Native American military personnel were taken in Iraq, as well as images of traditional coming home ceremonies such as the War Mothers' Dance, Welcoming Home/Cleansing Ceremony, and other rituals.


"These images stayed with me.The power of this book lies in photographs of the Native solidiers and in the written word. Clevenger argues in the introduction that in proportion to their numbers in the country's population, Native Americans join the military more than any other ethnic group.The introduction raises an important question: Why have so many served when the government has treated Natives so terribly? Clevenger found different answers. One said he wasn't defending the government, but the land of his people."
-Albuquerque Journal


"Author and photographer Steven Clevenger, an Osage tribal member, has documented American wars for three decades. His eloquent essays and powerful photos vividly portray the warrior tradition, revealing the complexities of wartime as well as the cultural acceptance the returned soldiers receive."
-High Country News

Trim: 10" x 11"

Pages: 128

Illustrations: 107 color photographs


American Indians (I)



Cloth $15.00