Today, the New York Times wrote a fitting and worthy tribute to Tony Hillerman who died yesterday at the grand, old age of 88. Hillerman, whose books "The Blessing Way", "Skinwalkers" and many others, revolved around two principal characters: Navaho policemen Chee and Leaphorn, who become embroiled in a number of murders and acts of mahem unfolding within their community.

Hillerman became fascinated with Native American peoples at an early age and, after his return from service in WWII and work as a journalist, began writing the stories as tribute to the proud but misunderstood Navaho. He won numerous awards for his work, including the Edgar, the most prestigious prize offered in the US for murder-mystery writing.

Chee and Leaphorn's character's take on many complex colors and wrinkles and are presented as though they were living among us. With a Masters' Degree in anthropolgy, Leaphorn represents the cool dispassionate and secular man of the present day. In contrast, Chee works to become a medicine man who, although respectful of science and progress, aspires to a spiritual bent that is in keeping of the Navaho tradition. Both characters represent the interplay, then, between religion and reason, as they delve into the darkness that falls around them.

Chee describes this way of living to Leaphorn, in the following passage:

"Everything is connected. The way of the corn beetle affects the direction
of the wind, the way the sand drifts, the way the light reflects into the
eye of the man beholding his reality. All is part of totality, and in this to-
tality man finds his horzo, his way of walking in harmony, with beauty
all around him".

Requiescit in pace, Tony.