Navajo’s Culture, Beliefs, Kinship, and Changes
Instructor Dr. Jonathan Brooks
1) Navajo’s Culture
A) First came from Canada, but settled in the four corners, southwestern regions. B) How they learned the way of the new lands to adapt their ways. 2) Foragers/ Agricultural
A) They started out like foragers hunters and herders, but then stole the ways of the Hopis B) Navajo’s learned how to weave from sheep and learned how to make exchanges of hides. 3) Beliefs and Values
A) Known as the Dine` people, they believe in the Holy People and Earth People B) Ceremonial nature is the way they live with rules for the land and animals. 4) Kinship
A) Families built hogans and lived in separate homes, but raised their sheep together. B) Navajo have a kinship system that follows the linage of the women. 5) Social Changes
A)Environmental causes have taken the traditional ways of their ancestors and changed them B) Family disruption has become a hazard and created a lot of alcohol abuse.
Navajo’s which were referred as the Dine`, were very diverse people. They came from Canada and travelled into the four corners to settle in southwestern America. They started out as hunters and herders, but stole the way of the hopi’s, which made them into a agricultural society. Also, the Navajo Indians believed in Holy People and Earth People that they have to obey or the Son god will burn all their crops. There way of life is very artistic and they are great weavers and pottery makers. They live in hogans homes made of logs and earth, but live separately among families. The environmental ways of life they have encountered in the most recent years has put a hazard on family life and alcoholism. Navajo people were very interesting people on how they created things had strong believes, but environmental causes took a lot away from them that led them down a dark road now. Navajo Indians were a tribe that once believed to reside in Canada, but ended up traveling to the four corners which is known as the southwestern regions. Therefore, the states were: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. “Euro-Americans historians and archaeologists have argued for decades with the Navajo historians and cultural experts over just when the Navajos first entered the southwestern United States,” (Linford, 2000) but most agree they came from Canada. Some histrorians believe that the Navajos entered into the southwest in 1541 with Francisco Vasquez de Coronado on the Spanish incursion with Apacheans. Next, they were known to live by the Hopi Mesa which is now known as New Mexico. They also lived in northern Arizona in 1770s and went to Utah in 1805 when they fled the relentless U.S. Army.
The Navajo lived in what is now northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona. This land contained peaks, grasslands, deserts, and canyons. However, they consider themselves the Dine`. “The Dine have a strong tradition of oneness with the land and fully believe they have been in the Southwest as long or longer than anyone else. (Many Navajos are aware of their relationship to Athabascans for to the north in Canada, but legends suggest these people are descendants of Dine` who left the main Navajo tribe and moved many generations ago).” (Linford, 2000) Navajos learned how to adapt to the lands by respecting it and taking other tribe traditions to their own ways. They started out like foragers hunters and herders. Therefore, they hunted deer, rabbits, and antelope and made hides to keep warm for clothes. However they did not live life this way too long and grew accustom to the Hopis tribes methods. The Navajo were a nomadic group of people until they came into contact with the Hopis. They adopted some of the beliefs and customs of the Hopis including farming,...