HOME
The Info List - Navajo


--- Advertisement ---



The Navajo
Navajo
(/næv.ə.hoʊ/; British English: Navaho, Navajo: Diné or Naabeehó) are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. The Navajo people
Navajo people
are politically divided between two federally recognized tribes, the Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
and the Colorado River Indian Tribes. At more than 300,000 enrolled tribal members as of 2015[update][1][2], the Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
is the second largest federally recognized tribe in the U.S. (the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation
being the largest), and has the largest reservation in the country. The reservation straddles the Four Corners region and covers more than 27,000 square miles of land in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. The Navajo language
Navajo language
is spoken throughout the region, with most Navajos speaking English, as well. The states with the largest Navajo
Navajo
populations are Arizona
Arizona
(140,263) and New Mexico
New Mexico
(108,306). Over three-quarters of the Navajo
Navajo
population reside in these two states.[3] Thousands of Navajos also live in California.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Early history 1.2 Territory of New Mexico
New Mexico
1846-1863 1.3 The Long Walk 1.4 Reservation era 1.5 Boarding schools and education 1.6 Livestock Reduction 1930s-1950s 1.7 World War II 1.8 After 1945

2 Culture

2.1 Ethnobotany 2.2 Traditional dwellings 2.3 Spiritual and religious beliefs 2.4 Music

3 Visual arts

3.1 Silverwork 3.2 Weaving

4 In the media 5 Notable people with Navajo
Navajo
ancestry

5.1 Artists 5.2 Performers 5.3 Politicians 5.4 Writers

6 See also 7 Notes 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

History[edit] Early history[edit]

A 19th-century hogan

Navajos spinning and weaving

The Navajos are speakers of a Na-Dené Southern Athabaskan language known within the language as Diné bizaad (lit. 'People's language'). The language comprises two geographic, mutually intelligible dialects. It is closely related to the Apache
Apache
language; the Navajos and Apaches are believed to have migrated from northwestern Canada
Canada
and eastern Alaska, where the majority of Athabaskan speakers reside.[4] Speakers of various other Athabaskan languages located in Canada
Canada
may still comprehend the Navajo language
Navajo language
despite the geographic and linguistic deviation of the languages.[5] Additionally, some Navajos speak Navajo Sign Language, which is either a dialect or daughter of Plains Sign Talk, as well as some being speakers of Plains Sign Talk
Talk
itself.[6] Archaeological
Archaeological
and historical evidence suggests the Athabaskan ancestors of the Navajos and Apaches entered the Southwest around 1400 CE.[7][8] The Navajo
Navajo
oral tradition is said to retain references of this migration.[citation needed] Until contact with Pueblos and the Spanish, the Navajos were largely hunters and gatherers. The tribe adopted crop-farming techniques from the Pueblo peoples, growing mainly corn, beans, and squash. When the Spanish arrived, the Navajos began herding sheep and goats as a main source of trade and food, with meat becoming an essential component of the Navajo
Navajo
diet. Sheep
Sheep
also became a form of currency and status symbols among the Navajos based on the overall quantity of herds a family maintained.[9][10] In addition, the practice of spinning and weaving wool into blankets and clothing became common and eventually developed into a form of highly valued artistic expression. Oral history also indicates a long relationship with Pueblo people[11] and a willingness to adapt Puebloan ideas and linguistic variance into their culture, as well as long-established trading practices between the groups. Spanish records from the mid-16th century speak of the Pueblos exchanging maize and woven cotton goods for bison meat, hides, and stone from Athabaskans traveling to the pueblos or living in the vicinity of them. In the 18th century, the Spanish reported the Navajos' maintaining large herds of livestock and cultivating large crop areas.[citation needed] Western historians believe that the Spanish before 1600 referred to the Navajo
Navajo
as Apaches (from the Zuni word for enemy) or Quechos. [12]:2–4 Fray Geronimo de Zarate-Salmeron, who was in Jemez in 1622, used Apachu de Nabajo in the 1620s to refer to the people in the Chama Valley region, east of the San Juan River and northwest of present-day Santa Fe, New Mexico. "Navahu" comes from the Tewa, meaning large area of cultivated lands.[12]:7–8 By the 1640s, the Spanish began using the term "Navajo" to refer to the Diné. During the 1670s, the Spanish wrote that the Diné lived in a region known as Dinétah, about 60 miles (100 km) west of the Rio Chama valley region. In the 1770s, the Spanish sent military expeditions against the Navajos in the Mount Taylor and Chuska Mountain regions of New Mexico.[12]:43–50 The Spanish, Navajo
Navajo
and Hopi
Hopi
continued to trade with each other and formed a loose alliance to fight Apache
Apache
and Commanche bands for the next 20 years. During this time there were relatively minor raids by Navajo bands and Spanish citizens against each other. In 1800 Governor Chacon led 500 men in an expedition to Tunicha Mountains against the Navajos. 20 Navajo
Navajo
Chiefs asked for peace. In 1804 and 1805 there were major expeditions by Navajos and Spanish against each other's settlements. In May 1805 another peace was established. Similar patterns of peace making, raiding and trading between Navajo, Spanish, Apaches, Comanches and Hopi
Hopi
continued until the arrival of the Americans in 1846.[12] Territory of New Mexico
New Mexico
1846-1863[edit]

Chief Manuelito

The Navajos came into contact with the United States
United States
Army in 1846, when General Stephen W. Kearny
Stephen W. Kearny
invaded Santa Fe with 1,600 men during the Mexican–American War. On November 21, 1846, following an invitation from a small party of American soldiers under the command of Captain John Reid, who journeyed deep into Navajo
Navajo
country and contacted him, Narbona
Narbona
and other Navajos negotiated a treaty of peace with Colonel Alexander Doniphan at Bear Springs, Ojo del Oso (later the site of Fort Wingate). This agreement was not honored by some Navajo
Navajo
and also by some New Mexicans. Navajos stole New Mexican livestock and New Mexicans took women, children and livestock from the Navajo.[13] In 1849, the military governor of New Mexico, Colonel John MacRae Washington—accompanied by John S. Calhoun, an Indian agent—led a force of 400 soldiers into Navajo
Navajo
country, penetrating Canyon de Chelly, and signed a treaty with two Navajo
Navajo
leaders Mariano Martinez as Head Chief and Chapitone as Second Chief. The treaty acknowledged the transfer of jurisdiction from the United Mexican States to the United States. The treaty allowed forts and trading posts to be built on Navajo
Navajo
land. The United States, on its part, promised "such donations [and] such other liberal and humane measures, as [it] may deem meet and proper."[14] While en route to this treaty signing, Narbona, a prominent Navajo
Navajo
peace leader, was killed, resulting in hostility between the treaty parties.[15] During the next 10 years, the U.S. established forts on traditional Navajo
Navajo
territory. Military records cite this development as a precautionary measure to protect citizens and the Navajos from each other. However, Spanish/Mexican- Navajo
Navajo
pattern of raids and expeditions continued. Over 400 New Mexican militia conducted a campaign against the Navajo, against the wishes of the Territorial Governor, in 1860-61. They killed Navajos, captured women and children for slaves and destroyed crops and dwellings. The Navajo
Navajo
call this period Naahondzood, "the fearing time." In 1861, Brigadier-General James H. Carleton, Commander of the Federal District of New Mexico, initiated a series of military actions against the Navajos and Apaches. Colonel Kit Carson
Kit Carson
was at the new Fort Wingate with Army troops and volunteer New Mexico
New Mexico
militia. Carleton ordered Carson to kill Mescalero
Mescalero
Apache
Apache
men and destroy any Mewscalero property he could find. Carleton believed these harsh tactics would bring any Indian Tribe under control The Mescalero
Mescalero
surrendered and were sent to the new reservation called Bosque Redondo. In the summer of 1863, Carleton ordered Carson to use the same tactics on the Navajo. Carson and his force swept through Navajo
Navajo
land, killing Navajos and destroying crops and dwellings, fouling wells, and capturing livestock. Facing starvation and death, Navajo
Navajo
groups came to Fort Defiance. On July 20, 1863, the first of many groups started off to join the Mescalero
Mescalero
at Bosque Redondo. Other groups continue to come in though 1864.[16] However, not all Navajos came in or were found. Some lived near the San Juan River, some beyond the Hopi
Hopi
villages and others lived with Apache
Apache
bands.[17] The Long Walk[edit] Main article: Long Walk of the Navajo Beginning in the spring of 1864, around 9,000 Navajo
Navajo
men, women, and children were forced to walk over 300 miles (480 km) to Fort Sumner, New Mexico, for internment at Bosque Redondo. The internment at Bosque Redondo
Bosque Redondo
was disastrous for the Navajo
Navajo
as the government failed to provide an adequate supply of water, wood, provisions, and livestock for 4,000–5,000 people. Large-scale crop failure and disease were also endemic during this time, as well as raids by other tribes and civilians. In addition, a small group of Mescalero
Mescalero
Apaches, longtime enemies of the Navajos, had been relocated to the area, resulting in conflicts. In 1868, a treaty was negotiated between Navajo
Navajo
leaders and the federal government allowing the surviving Navajos to return to a reservation on a portion of their former homeland. The Navajos were not provided with much protection, and many Navajo
Navajo
women and children were kidnapped and enslaved by enemies of the Navajo. While at Bosque Redondo, the government did not provide the Navajos with food or shelter, and some Navajos froze during the winter because of poor shelters that they had to make with few materials and resources. This period is known among the Navajo
Navajo
as "The Fearing Time"[18]. Reservation era[edit]

Navajo
Navajo
woman & child, circa 1880-1910

The United States
United States
military continued to maintain forts on the Navajo reservation in the years following the Long Walk. Between 1873 and 1895, the military employed Navajos as “Indian Scouts” at Fort Wingate to assist their regular units.[19] During this period, Chief Manuelito
Manuelito
founded the Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Police, which operated between 1872 and 1875 as an anti-raid task force working to maintain the peaceful terms of the 1868 Navajo
Navajo
treaty. By treaty, the Navajos were allowed to leave the reservation for trade with permission from the military or local Indian agent. Eventually, the arrangement led to a gradual end in Navajo
Navajo
raids as the tribe was able to increase the size of livestock and crops. In addition, the tribe was able to increase the size of the Navajo
Navajo
reservation from 3.5 million acres (14,000 km2 (5,400 sq mi)) to the 16 million acres (65,000 km2 (25,000 sq mi)) as it stands today; however, economic conflicts with non-Navajos continued for many years as civilians and companies exploited resources assigned to the Navajos. The US government made leases for livestock grazing, took land for railroad development, and permitted mining on Navajo
Navajo
land without consultation with the tribe. In 1883, Lt. Parker, accompanied by 10 enlisted men and two scouts, went up the San Juan River to separate Navajos and citizens who had encroached on Navajo
Navajo
land.[20] In the same year, Lt. Lockett, with the aid of 42 enlisted soldiers, was joined by Lt. Holomon at Navajo Springs. Evidently, citizens of the surnames Houck and/or Owens had murdered a Navajo
Navajo
chief's son, and 100 armed Navajos were looking for them. In 1887, citizens Palmer, Lockhart, and King fabricated a charge of horse stealing and randomly attacked a home on the reservation. Two Navajo
Navajo
men and all three whites died, but a woman and a child survived. Capt. Kerr (with two Navajo
Navajo
scouts) examined the ground and then met with several hundred Navajos at Houcks Tank. Rancher Bennett, whose horse was allegedly stolen, pointed out to Kerr that his horses were stolen by the three whites to catch a horse thief.[21] In the same year, Lt. Scott went to the San Juan River with two scouts and 21 enlisted men. The Navajos believed Lt. Scott was there to drive off the whites who had settled on the reservation and had fenced off the river from the Navajos. Scott found evidence of many non-Navajo ranches. Only three were active, and the owners wanted payment for their improvements before leaving. Scott ejected them.[22] In 1890, a local rancher refused to pay the Navajos a fine of livestock. The Navajos tried to collect it, and whites in southern Colorado and Utah
Utah
claimed that 9,000 of the Navajos were on a warpath. A small military detachment out of Fort Wingate
Fort Wingate
restored white citizens to order.[citation needed] In 1913, an Indian agent ordered a Navajo
Navajo
and his three wives to come in, and then arrested them for having a plural marriage. A small group of Navajos used force to free the women and retreated to Beautiful Mountain with 30 or 40 sympathizers. They refused to surrender to the agent, and local law enforcement and military refused the agent's request for an armed engagement. General Scott arrived, and with the help of Henry Chee Dodge, defused the situation. Boarding schools and education[edit] Main article: American Indian boarding schools During the time on the reservation, the Navajo
Navajo
tribe was forced to acclimatise to white society. Navajo
Navajo
children were sent to boarding schools within the reservation and off the reservation. The first Bureau of Indian Affairs
Bureau of Indian Affairs
(BIA) school opened at Fort Defiance in 1870[23] and led the way for eight others to be established.[24] Many older Navajos were against this education and would hide their children to keep them from being taken. Many children, on the other hand, wanted to attend these schools and would go willingly with the Siláo. Once the children arrived at the boarding school, their lifestyles changed dramatically. European Americans taught the classes under an English-only curriculum and punished any student caught speaking Navajo.[24] The children were under militaristic discipline, run by the Siláo. Through multiple interviews, the interviewees recalled being captured and disciplined by the Siláo if they tried to run away. Other conditions included inadequate food, overcrowding, manual labor in kitchens, fields, and boiler rooms, and military-style uniforms and haircuts.[25] Change did not occur in these boarding schools until the Meriam Report was published in 1929 by the Secretary of Interior, Hubert Work. This report discussed Indian boarding schools
Indian boarding schools
as being inadequate in terms of diet, medical services, dormitory overcrowding, undereducated teachers, restrictive discipline, and manual labor by the students to keep the school running.[26] This report was the precursor to education reforms initiated under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, under which two new schools were built on the Navajo
Navajo
reservation. Rough Rock Day School was run in the same militaristic style as Fort Defiance and did not implement the educational reforms. The Evangelical Missionary School was opened next to Rough Rock Day School. Navajo
Navajo
accounts of this school portray it as a family-like atmosphere with home-cooked meals, new or gently used clothing, humane treatment, and a Navajo-based curriculum. Educators found the Evangelical Missionary School curriculum to be much more beneficial to the Navajo
Navajo
children.[27]

Untitled. Ansel Adams. 1941. Taken near Canyon de Chelly

In 1937, Mary Cabot Wheelright and Hastiin Klah, an esteemed and influential Navajo
Navajo
singer, or medicine man, founded the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe. It is a repository for sound recordings, manuscripts, paintings, and sandpainting tapestries of the Navajos. It also featured exhibits to express the beauty, dignity, and logic of Navajo
Navajo
religion. When Klah met Cabot in 1921, he had witnessed decades of efforts by the US government and missionaries to assimilate the Navajos into mainstream society. Children were sent away to Indian boarding schools, where they were forced to learn English and practice Christianity. They were prohibited from using their own languages and religion. The museum was founded to preserve the religion and traditions of the Navajos, which Klah was sure would soon be lost forever. Livestock Reduction 1930s-1950s[edit] See also: Navajo
Navajo
Livestock Reduction The Navajo Livestock Reduction
Navajo Livestock Reduction
was imposed upon the Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
by the federal government starting in the 1933.[28] Under various forms it continued into the 1950s, The government decided that the land of the Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
could only support a fixed number of sheep, goats, cattle, and horses. The Federal government believed the land erosion was worsening and the only solution was to reduce the livestock. In 1933, John Collier was appointed commissioner of the BIA. The capacity was set in "sheep units". The Navajo
Navajo
grazed 1,100,000 mature sheep units in 1930.[29] These sheep provided half the cash income for the individual Navajo.[30] Collier's solution was to first launch a voluntary program which soon became mandatory in 1935. These programs may have paid for part of the value of each animal, but it did nothing to address the loss of future yearly income. In the matrilineal and matrilocal world of the Navajo, women were especially hurt, as many lost their only source of income.[31] The Navajo
Navajo
did not understand why their centuries-old practices of raising livestock should change.[29] They were united in opposition but they were unable to stop it.[32] Historian Brian Dippie notes that the Indian Rights Association denounced Collier as a 'dictator' and accused him of a "near reign of terror" on the Navajo
Navajo
reservation. Dippie adds that, "He became an object of 'burning hatred' among the very people whose problems so preoccupied him."[33] The long-term result was strong Navajo
Navajo
opposition to Collier's Indian New Deal.[34] World War II[edit]

General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
meeting Navajo, Pima, Pawnee and other Native American troops.

Many Navajo
Navajo
young people moved to work in urban factories in World War II. Many Navajo
Navajo
men volunteered for military service in keeping with their warrior culture, where they served in integrated units. The War Department in 1940 rejected a proposal by the BIA that segregated units be created for the Indians. They gained firsthand experience with how they could assimilate into the modern world and many did not return to the overcrowded reservation with few jobs.[35] Four hundred Navajo Code Talkers
Navajo Code Talkers
played a famous role during World War II by relaying radio messages using their own language, which the Japanese were unable to understand.[36] In the 1940s, large quantities of uranium were discovered in Navajo land. From then into the early 21st century, the U.S. allowed mining without sufficient environmental protection for workers, waterways, and land. The Navajos have claimed high rates of death and illness from lung disease and cancer resulting from environmental contamination. Since the 1970s, legislation has helped to regulate the industry and reduce the toll, but the government has not yet offered holistic and comprehensive compensation.[37] After 1945[edit] See also: Indian termination policy, Black Mesa Peabody Coal controversy, and American Indian Movement

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2016)

Culture[edit]

Dibé (sheep) remain an important aspect of Navajo
Navajo
culture.

The name “Navajo” comes from the late 18th century via the Spanish (Apaches de) Navajó "(Apaches of) Navajó", which was derived from the Tewa
Tewa
navahū "fields adjoining a ravine". The Navajos call themselves Diné.[38] Like other Apacheans, the Navajos were semi-nomadic from the 16th through the 20th centuries. Their extended kinship groups had seasonal dwelling areas to accommodate livestock, agriculture, and gathering practices. As part of their traditional economy, Navajo
Navajo
groups may have formed trading or raiding parties, traveling relatively long distances. There is a system of clans which defines relationships between individuals and families. The clan system is exogamous: people can only marry (and date) partners outside their own clans, which for this purpose include the clans of their four grandparents. While clans are associated with a geographical area, the area is not for the exclusive use of any one clan. Members of a clan may live hundreds of miles apart but still have a clan bond.[17]:xix-xxi Historically, the structure of the Navajo
Navajo
society is largely a matrilineal system, in which the family of the women owned livestock, dwellings, planting areas and livestock grazing areas. Once married, a Navajo
Navajo
man would move to live with his bride in her dwelling and near her mother's family. Daughters (or, if necessary, other female relatives) were traditionally the ones who received the generational property inheritance. Children are "born to" and belong to the mother's clan, and are "born for" the father's clan. The mother's eldest brother has a strong role in her children's lives. As adults, men represent their mother's clan in tribal politics.[38]

Navajo
Navajo
hogan

Ethnobotany[edit] See Navajo
Navajo
ethnobotany. Traditional dwellings[edit] A hogan, the traditional Navajo
Navajo
home, is built as a shelter for either a man or for a woman. Since they live in the arid Four Corners
Four Corners
area, the houses are made of dried mud. Male hogans are square or conical with a distinct rectangular entrance, while a female hogan[citation needed] is an eight-sided house. Both are made of wood and covered in mud, with the door always facing east to welcome the sun each morning. The Navajos construct hogans out of poles and brush covered with earth.[39] Navajos also have several types of hogans for lodging and ceremonial use. Ceremonies, such as healing ceremonies or the kinaaldá, take place inside a hogan.[40] According to Kehoe, this style of housing is distinctive to the Navajos. She writes, "even today, a solidly constructed, log-walled Hogan
Hogan
is preferred by many Navajo
Navajo
families." Most Navajo
Navajo
members today live in apartments and houses in urban areas.[41] Those who practice the Navajo
Navajo
religion regard the hogan as sacred. The religious song "The Blessingway" (hózhǫ́ǫ́jí) describes the first hogan as being built by Coyote with help from Beavers to be a house for First Man, First Woman, and Talking God. The Beaver People gave Coyote logs and instructions on how to build the first hogan. Navajos made their hogans in the traditional fashion until the 1900s, when they started to make them in hexagonal and octagonal shapes. Hogans continue to be used as dwellings, especially by older Navajos, although they tend to be made with modern construction materials and techniques. Some are maintained specifically for ceremonial purposes. Spiritual and religious beliefs[edit] See also: Diné Bahaneʼ
Diné Bahaneʼ
( Navajo
Navajo
creation beliefs)

Navajo
Navajo
Yebichai (Yei Bi Chei) dancers. Edward S. Curtis. USA, 1900. The Wellcome Collection, London

Hastobíga, a Hataałii photographed in 1904 by Edward S. Curtis

Navajo
Navajo
spiritual practice is about restoring balance and harmony to a person's life to produce health and is based on the ideas of Hózhóójí. The Diné believed in two classes of people: Earth People and Holy People. The Navajo people
Navajo people
believe they passed through three worlds before arriving in this world, the Fourth World or the Glittering World. As Earth People, the Diné must do everything within their power to maintain the balance between Mother Earth and man.[42] The Diné also had the expectation of keeping a positive relationship between them and the Diyin Diné. In the Diné Bahane' ( Navajo
Navajo
beliefs about creation), the First, or Dark World is where the four Diyin Diné lived and where First Woman and First Man came into existence. Because the world was so dark, life could not thrive there and they had to move on. The Second, or Blue World, was inhabited by a few of the mammals Earth People know today as well as the Swallow Chief, or Táshchózhii. The First World beings had offended him and were asked to leave. From there, they headed south and arrived in the Third World, or Yellow World. The four sacred mountains were found here, but due to a great flood, First Woman, First Man, and the Holy People were forced to find another world to live in. This time, when they arrived, they stayed in the Fourth World. In the Glittering World, true death came into existence, as well as the creations of the seasons, the moon, stars, and the sun.[43] The Holy People, or Diyin Diné, had instructed the Earth People to view the four sacred mountains as the boundaries of the homeland (Dinétah) they should never leave: Blanca Peak
Blanca Peak
(Sisnaajiní — Dawn or White Shell Mountain) in Colorado; Mount Taylor (Tsoodził — Blue Bead or Turquoise
Turquoise
Mountain) in New Mexico; the San Francisco Peaks (Dookʼoʼoosłííd — Abalone Shell Mountain) in Arizona; and Hesperus Mountain
Hesperus Mountain
(Dibé Nitsaa — Big Mountain Sheep) in Colorado.[44] Times of day, as well as colors, are used to represent the four sacred mountains. Throughout religions, the importance of a specific number is emphasized and in the Navajo
Navajo
religion, the number four appears to be sacred to their practices. For example, there were four original clans of Diné, four colors and times of day, four Diyin Diné, and for the most part, four songs sung for a ritual.[44] Navajo
Navajo
have many different ceremonies. For the most part, their ceremonies are to prevent or cure diseases.[45] Corn pollen is used as a blessing and as an offering during prayer.[42] One half of major Navajo song ceremonial complex is the Blessing Way (Hózhǫ́ǫ́jí) and other half is the Enemy Way (Anaʼí Ndááʼ). The Blessing Way ceremonies are based on establishing "peace, harmony, and good things exclusively" within the Dine. The Enemy Way, or Evil Way ceremonies are concerned with counteracting influences that come from outside the Dine.[45] Spiritual healing ceremonies are rooted in Navajo traditional stories. One of them, the Night Chant ceremony, is conducted over several days and involves up to 24 dancers. The ceremony requires the dancers to wear buckskin masks, as do many of the other Navajo
Navajo
ceremonies, and they all represent specific gods.[45] The purpose of the Night Chant is to purify the patients and heal them through prayers to the spirit-beings. Each day of the ceremony entails the performance of certain rites and the creation of detailed sand paintings. One of the songs describes the home of the thunderbirds:

In Tsegihi [White House], In the house made of the dawn, In the house made of the evening light[46]

The ceremonial leader proceeds by asking the Holy People to be present in the beginning of the ceremony, then identifying the patient with the power of the spirit-being, and describing the patient's transformation to renewed health with lines such as, "Happily I recover."[47] Ceremonies are used to correct curses that cause of some illnesses or misfortunes. People may complain of witches who do harm to the minds, bodies, and families of innocent people.,[48] though these matters are rarely discussed in detail with those outside of the community.[49] Music[edit] Main article: Navajo
Navajo
music Visual arts[edit] Silverwork[edit]

Squash blossom necklace

19th-century Navajo
Navajo
jewelry with the popular concho and dragonfly designs.

Silversmithing is an important art form among Navajos. Atsidi Sani (c. 1830–c. 1918) is considered to be the first Navajo
Navajo
silversmith. He learned silversmithing from a Mexican man called Nakai Tsosi ("Thin Mexican") around 1878 and began teaching other Navajos how to work with silver.[50] By 1880, Navajo
Navajo
silversmiths were creating handmade jewelry including bracelets, tobacco flasks, necklaces and bracers. Later, they added silver earrings, buckles, bolos, hair ornaments, pins and squash blossom necklaces for tribal use, and to sell to tourists as a way to supplement their income.[51] The Navajos' hallmark jewelry piece called the "squash blossom" necklace first appeared in the 1880s. The term "squash blossom" was apparently attached to the name of the Navajo
Navajo
necklace at an early date, although its bud-shaped beads are thought to derive from Spanish-Mexican pomegranate designs.[52] The Navajo
Navajo
silversmiths also borrowed the "naja" (najahe in Navajo)[53] symbol to shape the silver pendant that hangs from the "squash blossom" necklace. Turquoise
Turquoise
has been part of jewelry for centuries, but Navajo
Navajo
artists did not use inlay techniques to insert turquoise into silver designs until the late 19th century. Weaving[edit] Main article: Navajo
Navajo
weaving

Navajo
Navajo
weaver with sheep

Navajo
Navajo
Germantown Eye Dazzler Rug, Science History Institute

Probably Bayeta-style Blanket
Blanket
with Terrace and Stepped Design, 1870-1880, 50.67.54, Brooklyn Museum

Navajos came to the southwest with their own weaving traditions; however, they learned to weave cotton on upright looms from Pueblo peoples. The first Spaniards to visit the region wrote about seeing Navajo
Navajo
blankets. By the 18th century the Navajos had begun to import Bayeta red yarn to supplement local black, grey, and white wool, as well as wool dyed with indigo. Using an upright loom, the Navajos made extremely fine utilitarian blankets that were collected by Ute and Plains Indians. These Chief's Blankets, so called because only chiefs or very wealthy individuals could afford them, were characterized by horizontal stripes and minimal patterning in red. First Phase Chief's Blankets have only horizontal stripes, Second Phase feature red rectangular designs, and Third Phase feature red diamonds and partial diamond patterns. The completion of the railroads dramatically changed Navajo
Navajo
weaving. Cheap blankets were imported, so Navajo
Navajo
weavers shifted their focus to weaving rugs for an increasingly non-Native audience. Rail service also brought in Germantown wool from Philadelphia, commercially dyed wool which greatly expanded the weavers' color palettes. Some early European-American settlers moved in and set up trading posts, often buying Navajo
Navajo
rugs by the pound and selling them back east by the bale. The traders encouraged the locals to weave blankets and rugs into distinct styles. These included "Two Gray Hills" (predominantly black and white, with traditional patterns); Teec Nos Pos (colorful, with very extensive patterns); "Ganado" (founded by Don Lorenzo Hubbell[54]), red-dominated patterns with black and white; "Crystal" (founded by J. B. Moore); oriental and Persian styles (almost always with natural dyes); "Wide Ruins", "Chinlee", banded geometric patterns; "Klagetoh", diamond-type patterns; "Red Mesa" and bold diamond patterns.[55] Many of these patterns exhibit a fourfold symmetry, which is thought to embody traditional ideas about harmony or hózhǫ́. In the media[edit] In 2000 the documentary The Return of Navajo Boy
The Return of Navajo Boy
was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. It was written in response to an earlier film, The Navajo Boy which was somewhat exploitative of those Navajos involved. The Return of Navajo Boy
The Return of Navajo Boy
allowed the Navajo
Navajo
to be more involved in the depictions of themselves.[56] In the final episode of the third season of the FX reality TV show 30 Days, the show's producer Morgan Spurlock
Morgan Spurlock
spends thirty days living with a Navajo
Navajo
family on their reservation in New Mexico. The July 2008 show called "Life on an Indian Reservation", depicts the dire conditions that many Native Americans experience living on reservations in the United States. Tony Hillerman
Tony Hillerman
wrote a series of detective novels whose detective characters were members of the Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Police. The novels are noted for incorporating details about Navajo
Navajo
culture, and in some cases expand focus to include nearby Hopi
Hopi
and Zuni characters and cultures, as well. Four of the novels have been adapted for film/TV. His daughter has continued the novel series after his death. Notable people with Navajo
Navajo
ancestry[edit]

General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
meeting Navajos, Pima, Pawnee and other Native American troops.

Jacoby Ellsbury, pictured in a Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
uniform, is a Navajo (from his mother's side) baseball player for the New York Yankees.

James and Ernie, a Navajo
Navajo
comedy duo and actors.

Chester Nez, was the last original Navajo
Navajo
code talker who served in the United States
United States
Marine Corps during World War II. Dr. Fred Begay, nuclear physicist and a Korean War
Korean War
veteran Notah Begay III (Navajo-Isleta-San Felipe Pueblo), American professional golfer Klee Benally, musician and documentary filmmaker[57] Jacoby Ellsbury, New York Yankees
New York Yankees
outfielder (enrolled Colorado River Indian Tribes) Rickie Fowler, American professional golfer Joe Kieyoomia, captured by the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
after the fall of the Philippines in 1942 Cory Witherill, first full-blooded Native American in NASCAR Nicco Montaño, current women's UFC flyweight champion

Artists[edit]

Atsidi Sani (c. 1828–1918), first known Navajo
Navajo
silversmith Harrison Begay (1914–2012), Studio painter Raven Chacon (born 1977), conceptual artist Lorenzo Clayton
Lorenzo Clayton
(born 1940), artist R. C. Gorman
R. C. Gorman
(1932–2005), painter and printmaker Hastiin Klah, weaver and co-founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian David Johns (born 1948), painter Yazzie Johnson, contemporary silversmith Bob Lansing potter, clay artist Klah Tso (mid-19th century — early 20th century), pioneering easel painter Gerald Nailor, Sr.
Gerald Nailor, Sr.
(1917–1952), studio painter Clara Nezbah Sherman, weaver Ryan Singer, painter, illustrator, screen printer Tommy Singer, silversmith and jeweler Quincy Tahoma (1920–1956), studio painter Emmi Whitehorse, contemporary painter Melanie Yazzie, contemporary print maker and educator

Performers[edit]

James and Ernie, comedy duo Blackfire, punk/alternative rock band Raven Chacon, composer Radmilla Cody, traditional singer R. Carlos Nakai, musician Jock Soto, ballet dancer Jeremiah Bitsui, actor

Politicians[edit]

Henry Chee Dodge, first Navajo
Navajo
Chairman and modern Navajo
Navajo
leader, (1922–1928, 1942–1946). Lilakai Julian Neil, first woman elected to Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Council (1946–1951) Mark Maryboy
Mark Maryboy
(Aneth/Red Mesa/Mexican Water), former Navajo
Navajo
Nation Council Delegate, working in Utah
Utah
Navajo
Navajo
Investments Annie Dodge Wauneka, former Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Councilwoman Peter MacDonald, former Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Chairman Kenneth Maryboy
Kenneth Maryboy
(Aneth/Red Mesa/Mexican Water), helped initiate the Navajo
Navajo
Santa Program for poverty stricken Navajo
Navajo
families Joe Shirley, Jr., former President of the Navajo
Navajo
Nation Ben Shelly, former Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
President Chris Deschene - veteran, an attorney, an engineer, and a community leader. One of few Native Americans to be accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Marine Corps. He made an unsuccessful attempt to run for Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
President. Peterson Zah
Peterson Zah
- the first Navajo
Navajo
President and the last Chairman of the Navajo
Navajo
Nation.[58]

Writers[edit]

Luci Tapahonso, poet and lecturer Elizabeth Woody, author, educator, and environmentalist Sherwin Bitsui, author and poet

See also[edit]

United States
United States
portal Indigenous peoples of North America portal

Diné Bahaneʼ Navajo-Churro sheep Navajo
Navajo
pueblitos

Notes[edit]

^ a b Donovan, Bill. "Census: Navajo
Navajo
enrollment tops 300,000." Navajo Times 7 July 2011 (retrieved 8 July 2011) ^ "Arizona's Native American Tribes: Navajo
Navajo
Nation." Archived 2012-01-01 at the Wayback Machine. University of Arizona, Tucson Economic Development Research Program. Retrieved 19 Jan 2011. ^ American Factfinder, United States
United States
Census Bureau ^ Watkins, Thayer. "Discovery of the Athabascan Origin of the Apache and Navajo
Navajo
Language." San Jose State University. (retrieved 28 Nov 2010) ^ First Peoples' Cultural Foundation "About Our Language." First Voices: Dene Welcome Page. 2010 (retrieved 28 Nov 2010) ^ Samuel J. Supalla (1992) The Book of Name Signs, p. 22 ^ Pritzker, 52 ^ For example, the Great Canadian Parks website suggests the Navajos may be descendants of the lost Naha tribe, a Slavey tribe from the Nahanni region west of Great Slave Lake. "Nahanni National Park Reserve". Great Canadian Parks. Retrieved 2007-07-02.  ^ Iverson, Nez, and Deer, 19 ^ Iverson, Nez, and Deer, 62 ^ Hosteen Klah, page 102 and others ^ a b c d Correll, J. Lee (1976). Through White Mens Eyes: A contribution to Navajo
Navajo
History (Book)format= requires url= (help). Window Rock, AZ: The Navajo Times
Navajo Times
Publishing Company.  ^ Pages 133 to 140 and 152 to 154, Sides, Blood and Thunder ^ 9 Stat. 974 ^ Simpson, James H, edited and annotated by Frank McNitt, forward by Durwood Ball, Navaho Expedition: Journal of a Military Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Navajo
Navajo
Country, Made in 1849, University of Oklahoma Press (1964), trade paperback (2003), 296 pages, ISBN 0-8061-3570-0 ^ Thompson, Gerald (1976). The Army and the Navajo: The Bosque Redondo Reservation Experiment 1863-1868. Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona
Arizona
Press. ISBN 9780816504954.  ^ a b Compiled (1973). Roessel, Ruth, ed. Navajo
Navajo
Stories of the Long Walk Period. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo
Navajo
Community College Press. ISBN 0-912586-16-8.  ^ George Bornstein, "The Fearing Time: Telling the tales of Indian slavery in American history", Times Literary Supplement, 20 October 2017 p. 29 (review of Andrés Reséndez, The Other Slavery: The uncovered story of Indian enslavement in America, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN 9780547640983). ^ Marei Bouknight and others, Guide to Records in the Military Archives Division Pertaining to Indian-White Relations, GSA National Archives, 1972 ^ Ford, September 30, 1887 Letter to Acting Assistant General, District of New Mexico, National Archive Materials, Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Museum, Window Rock, Arizona ^ Kerr, February 18, 1887 letter to Acting Assistant General, District of New Mexico, National Archive Materials, Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Museum, Window Rock, Arizona. ^ Scott, June 22, 1887 letter to Acting Assistant General, District of New Mexico, National Archive Materials, Navajo
Navajo
Tribal Museum, Window Rock, Arizona ^ FORT DEFIANCE CHAPTER http://ftdefiance.navajochapters.org/. Retrieved 31 May 2017.  Missing or empty title= (help) ^ a b McCarty, T.L.; Bia, Fred (2002). A Place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Indigenous Schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 42. ISBN 0-8058-3760-4.  ^ McCarty, T.L.; Bia, Fred (2002). A Place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Indigenous Schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 44–5. ISBN 0-8058-3760-4.  ^ McCarty, T.L.; Bia, Fred (2002). A Place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Indigenous Schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 48. ISBN 0-8058-3760-4.  ^ McCarty, T.L.; Bia, Fred (2002). A Place to be Navajo: Rough Rock and the Struggle for Self-Determination in Indigenous Schooling. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. pp. 50–1. ISBN 0-8058-3760-4.  ^ Peter Iverson, "Dine: A History of the Navajos", 2002, University of New Mexico
New Mexico
Press, Chapter 5, "our People Cried": 1923-1941. ^ a b Compiled (1974). Roessel, Ruth, ed. Navajo
Navajo
Livestock Reduction: A National Disgrace. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo
Navajo
Community College Press. ISBN 0-912586-18-4.  ^ Peter Iverson (2002). "For Our Navajo
Navajo
People": Diné Letters, Speeches & Petitions, 1900-1960. U of New Mexico
New Mexico
Press. p. 250.  ^ Marsha Weisiger, "Gendered Injustice: Navajo Livestock Reduction
Navajo Livestock Reduction
in the New Deal Era." Western Historical Quarterly (2007): 437-455. in JSTOR ^ Richard White, ch 13: "The Navajos become Dependent" (1988). The Roots of Dependency: Subsistence, Environment, and Social Change Among the Choctaws, Pawnees, and Navajos. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 300ff.  ^ Brian W. Dippie, The Vanishing American: White Attitudes and U.S. Indian Policy (1991) pp 333-36, quote p 335 ^ Donald A. Grinde Jr, " Navajo
Navajo
Opposition to the Indian New Deal." Integrated Education (1981) 19#3-6 pp: 79-87. ^ Alison R. Bernstein, American Indians and World War II: Toward a New Era in Indian Affairs, (University of Oklahoma Press, 1999) pp 40, 67, 132, 152 ^ Bernstein, American Indians and World War II pp 46-49 ^ Judy Pasternak, Yellow Dirt- An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed, Free Press, New York, 2010. ^ a b Kluckholm, Clyde; Leighton, Dorothea (1974). The Navaho. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-6060-3-5.  ^ Iverson, Nez, and Deer, 16 ^ Iverson, Nez, and Deer, 23 ^ Kehoe, 133 ^ a b " Navajo
Navajo
Cultural History and Legends". www.navajovalues.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31.  ^ "The Story of the Emergence". www.sacred-texts.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31.  ^ a b " Navajo
Navajo
Culture". www.discovernavajo.com. Retrieved 2016-05-31.  ^ a b c Wyman, Leland (1983). " Navajo
Navajo
Ceremonial System" (PDF). Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 31 May 2016.  ^ Sandner, 88 ^ Sandner, 90 ^ Kluckhohn, Clyde (1967). Navaho Witchcraft. Boston: Beacon Press. 080704697-3.  ^ Keene, Dr. Adrienne, "Magic in North America Part 1: Ugh." at Native Appropriations", 8 March 2016. Accessed 9 April 2016: "What happens when Rowling pulls this in, is we as Native people are now opened up to a barrage of questions about these beliefs and traditions ... but these are not things that need or should be discussed by outsiders. At all. I’m sorry if that seems “unfair,” but that’s how our cultures survive." ^ Adair 4 ^ Adair 135 ^ Adair 44 ^ Adair, 9 ^ "Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site" White Mountains Online. (retrieved 28 Nov 2010) ^ Denver Art Museum. " Blanket
Blanket
Statements", Traditional Fine Arts Organization. (retrieved 28 Nov 2010) ^ "Synopsis". navajoboy.com. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-26.  ^ "Klee Benally". Nativenetworks.si.edu. Retrieved 2012-01-31.  ^ Peterson Zah
Peterson Zah
Biography

References[edit]

Adair, John. The Navajo
Navajo
and Pueblo Silversmiths. Norman: Oklahoma Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8061-2215-1. Iverson, Peter, Jennifer Nez Denetdale, and Ada E. Deer. The Navajo. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0-7910-8595-3. Kehoe, Alice Beck. North American Indians: A Comprehensive account. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2005. Newcomb, Franc Johnson (1964). Hosteen Klah: Navajo
Navajo
Medicine Man and Sand Painter. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. LCCN 64020759.  Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1. Sandner, Donald. Navaho symbols of healing: a Jungian exploration of ritual, image, and medicine. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0-89281-434-3. Sides, Hampton, Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West. Doubleday (2006). ISBN 978-0-385-50777-6

Further reading[edit]

Bailey, L. R. (1964). The Long Walk: A History of the Navaho Wars, 1846–1868. Bighorse, Tiana (1990). Bighorse the Warrior. Ed. Noel Bennett, Tucson: University of Arizona
Arizona
Press. Brugge, David M. (1968). Navajos in the Catholic Church Records of New Mexico 1694–1875. Window Rock, Arizona: Research Section, The Navajo Tribe.  Clarke, Dwight L. (1961). Stephen Watts Kearny: Soldier of the West. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. Downs, James F. (1972). The Navajo. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Left Handed (1967) [1938]. Son of Old Man Hat. recorded by Walter Dyk. Lincoln, Nebraska: Bison Books & University of Nebraska Press. LCCN 67004921.  Forbes, Jack D. (1960). Apache, Navajo
Navajo
and Spaniard. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press. LCCN 60013480.  Hammond, George P. and Rey, Agapito (editors) (1940). Narratives of the Coronado Expedition 1540–1542. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Iverson, Peter (2002). Diné: A History of the Navahos. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
New Mexico
Press. ISBN 0-8263-2714-1. Kelly, Lawrence (1970). Navajo
Navajo
Roundup Pruett Pub. Co., Colorado. Linford, Laurence D. (2000). Navajo
Navajo
Places: History, Legend, Landscape. Salt Lake City: University of Utah
Utah
Press. ISBN 978-0-87480-624-3 McNitt, Frank (1972). Navajo
Navajo
Wars. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. Plog, Stephen Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest. Thames and London, LTD, London, England, 1997. ISBN 0-500-27939-X. Roessel, Ruth (editor) (1973). Navajo
Navajo
Stories of the Long Walk Period. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo
Navajo
Community College Press. Roessel, Ruth, ed. (1974). Navajo
Navajo
Livestock Reduction: A National Disgrace. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo
Navajo
Community College Press. ISBN 0-912586-18-4.  Voyles, Traci Brynne (2015). Wastelanding: Legacies of Uranium Mining in Navajo
Navajo
Country. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press. Witherspoon, Gary (1977). Language and Art in the Navajo
Navajo
Universe. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Witte, Daniel. Removing Classrooms from the Battlefield: Liberty, Paternalism, and the Redemptive Promise of Educational Choice, 2008 BYU Law Review 377 The Navajo
Navajo
and Richard Henry Pratt Zaballos, Nausica (2009). Le système de santé navajo. Paris: L'Harmattan.

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Navajo.

Navajo
Navajo
Nation, official site Navajo
Navajo
Tourism Department Navajo
Navajo
people: history, culture, language, art Middle Ground Project of Northern Colorado University with images of U.S. documents of treaties and reports 1846–1931 Navajo
Navajo
Silversmiths, by Washington Matthews, 1883 from Project Gutenberg Navajo
Navajo
Institute for Social Justice Navajo
Navajo
Arts Information on authentic Navajo
Navajo
Art, Rugs, Jewelry, and Crafts  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). " Navajo
Navajo
Indians". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 

v t e

  Navajo
Navajo
Nation

Politics and institutions

Council

Council Chamber

President Vice President Flag Supreme Court Chapter houses Police Rangers Miss Navajo

Culture and education

People Language Music Weaving Navajo-Churro sheep Navajo
Navajo
Preparatory School Diné College

Press

Navajo Nation
Navajo Nation
Zoological and Botanical Park

Media

Ádahooníłígíí Navajo
Navajo
Times KTNN
KTNN
Radio

History

The Emergence Dinétah Navajo pueblitos
Navajo pueblitos
(1600s–1700s) Navajo Wars (1800s) Long Walk of the Navajo
Long Walk of the Navajo
(1864) Navajo Scouts
Navajo Scouts
(1873–1895) Livestock Reduction (1930s) Code talkers (1940s)

Communities

List of Communities

v t e

Indigenous peoples of Arizona

Contemporary peoples native to Arizona

Chemehuevi Chiricahua Cocopah Halchidhoma Havasupai Hopi Hualapai Maricopa Mohave Navajo Southern Paiute Pima Quechan Tewa Tohono O'odham Tonto Apache Southern Ute Western Apache Yaqui Yavapai Zuni

Prehistoric cultures in Arizona

Ancestral Pueblo

dwellings

Basketmaker Hohokam Mogollon Patayan Salado Sinagua

See also: List of Indian reservations in Arizona

Coordinates: 36°11′13″N 109°34′25″W / 36.1869°N 109.5736°W / 36.1869; -109.5736

Authority control

.