Ant 101 Final Paper

Topics: Navajo people, Native Americans in the United States, Navajo Nation Pages: 6 (2279 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Every culture has their own way of life, their own religious beliefs, their own marriage beliefs, their own values and feelings on life and the options it has to offer. Each culture has their own way to run things within their own government, and own way to keep their economy up to their standards. Also each culture and society have their own primary mode of subsistence that makes them unique. Among the Navajo culture their primary mode of subsistence are pastoralists.   Pastoralists have an impact on different aspects with in the culture.   The aspects that I will be discussing will be the Navajo’s beliefs and values, economic organization, gender relations and sickness and healing.  The Navajo are the largest federally recognized tribe of the United States of America with 300,048 enrolled tribal members. The Navajo call themselves Diné. Like most others, the Navajo were semi-nomadic from the sixteenth century up to the twentieth century. They moved seasonally to accommodate their livestock and to be able to plant and harvest their main vegetables to survive. The main resources were corn, squash and beans. Also cattle and goats. Navajos are believed to have originally migrated from western Canada and belonged to an American Indian group called the Athabasca’s. According to some scientists, some Athabasca bands first came into the American Southwest around the year 1300. Some settled in southern Arizona and New Mexico and became the different Apache tribes.  Apache languages sound very much like Navajo.  By the year 1700, Navajos were living in northern Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado and Utah.  They gave their land the name of Diné tah. The largest reservation belongs to the Navajo people. Their reservation covers an area of about 27, 000 square miles that is located in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and a small part of southeastern Utah. The Navajo people’s primary mode of subsistence is pastoralism. Pastoralism is a subsistence strategy involved in herding animals such as sheep, goats, camels, alpaca, reindeer, and cattle. Pastoralists depend on animals for their survival, spending much of their time and energy caring for them and subsisting on the products derived from them. For pastoralists, daily and seasonal life moves with the cycle of their animals. (Nowak & Laird, 2010). Navajo pastoralism arose early in the eighteenth century from the semi-arid canyons of the Dine homeland. They would migrate seasonally to accommodate their livestock. They also had to migrate throughout the seasons to be able to plant and harvest their vegetables to survive. Pastoralism is the primary mode of subsistence for that Navajo people because they have always grown and harvested their own vegetables. Also they herd their own cattle, sheep, and goats for not only food, but also for fur, leathers, and wool for clothes and other needed products to live. The Navajo people, much like most other native cultures, have many different beliefs and values. Some of their beliefs to other cultures may seem crazy. The Dine believe that there are two types of people. They believe that there are the Earth people, and then that there are the Holy people. They believe that the holy people have the power to either harm or to either aid the Earth people. They also believe that the Earth people are here to maintain the harmony with mother Earth. They believe that there are two types of rain. If it is pouring down rain, and violent with lightning and thunder then this is known to them as a male rain. On the other hand, if the rain is misty, or very calm and soothing, this is known as the female rain. In Navajo belief, there is a male and female to all things. Rain is one of the four main elements of Earth; light, air, and pollen are the others. The wise ones say that if you have no respect for the rain, and your thoughts and words are bad while it rains, the holy people will punish you. The Navajo have...
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