The Life of the Navajo Indian Tribe
I am writing my research paper on the Navajo Indians once called Dine’s; the Pueblo’s gave them the name Navajo as it was a Pueblo word meaning “planted fields” or “farmlands”. The Navajo Indians came from the Northwest Pacific coast and Canada between the 1300’s and the 1600’s. I chose to do my research paper on the Navajo Indians because I am French, Irish, and Indian, therefore I will be learning a about some of my own family history. First I will focus on Where the Navajo’s originated from and where they reside now, their flag, and seal; along with some of their political views and what brought on the need for a systematic government within the Navajo Indians tribe. Then I will discuss the behavior society sets on the men, women, and children of the Navajo Indians, the responsibilities of the different genders, followed up with some of their beliefs, values, and traditions. The Navajo Indians originated from the Northwest Pacific Coast and Canada; between the 1300’s and the 1600’s. Leaving the northwest, headed southwest the Navajo’s had to battle against the white man in what is now known as “Window Rock, Arizona”. Although the Navajo’s were known as fierce warriors they did not stand a chance going up against the white man as within no time at all the White man had killed thousands of Navajo Indians. Then they set their crops on fire; this forced the tribe to head towards New Mexico on foot, we now know this journey as “the long walk.” The long walk was approximately a three hundred mile journey. Thousands of the Indians died during this journey due to rough terrain and lack of supplies. Of the many that didn’t survive consisted of the elderly, and the young. The Navajo Indians started to settle in what we now call “the Four Corners” region; New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado. They live on reservations, which is land that belongs to them and is under their own control. The Navajo’s are known as “the land of the people”, living within the four sacred mountains, Mount Blanca, Mount Taylor, Mount La Plata, and the mountains in the San Francisco Peek. In the early 1900’s the Navajo Indians began to form a tribal government and throughout the years the Navajo Indian government has grown into the largest American Indian Government today. The systematic government became necessary when the tribes land first discovered oil. (www.usa.gov) Keep in mind the Navajo’s live on reservations and they not only have their own government they also have their own, laws, police, and services. And although they basically have their own little country the Navajo’s are still considered American Citizens. The men and women did different jobs within the Navajo society. The men were hunters, warriors, and political leaders. Only men were allowed to be chief in the Navajo tribe. The men also were the ones who made the jewelry. The women were responsible for the farming, tending to the livestock, and caring for the elderly and the young children. The Navajo women were also the ones who did the cooking, wove the rugs, and sculpted the clay pots. These gender roles have changed throughout the years as in today’s societies the Navajo men are often found to be farming while the Navajo woman are joining the Army. The Navajo women are known for passing the art weaving down to their daughters’ generation after generation. The women who weaved with the wool of the Churro sheep believed that weaving was not a competition but rather a skill. A skill that if used it made their lives seem more fulfilling. One of the stories told still to this day to the Navajo children is a story about “Spider Woman” a woman who could weave blankets and rugs better than anyone else. This story was told in hopes the children would be instilled with the belief “weaving was not a competition but a skill that if utilized it would assist them in making their lives more fulfilling.”...
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