Navajo

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Navajo Culture Research Essay
ANT 101
Instructor: Daniel Diaz Reyes
1/21/13

Navajo Culture

The culture that I’ve decided to write about is the Navajo Indians. The Navajo now are one of the largest Native American groups in Arizona. The Navajo were given the name Ni’hookaa Diyan Diné by their creators. It means "Holy Earth People”, Navajo are centered around their beliefs and values of nature, are economically stable, and have strong social relationships within the tribe. Through my readings I’ve realized that the Navajo people are rich spiritually, in culture, as well as customs, and they have stood strong through many hardships to make their way into the 20th century. They are currently the largest Indian tribe in the United States (Navajo Nation 2013).

Since the Navajo believe so strongly in nature, the feel they are linked to Mother earth, Father sky and other elements such as man, animals, and insects. In essence they rely heavily on nature and everything nature has to offer them. Some in the tribe are considered the Holy People, who are worshiped in return of good lucks for the Navajo community. It is believed that through certain ceremonies the Holy People conduct that people are cleansed from bad spirit and good luck is brought upon the family. For example, the rituals are performed on pregnant women, young men going to the army, and sick people. Naturally speaking, the most intriguing part of their belief is the ceremonial concepts of healing people through the performance of these rituals.

Handed down knowledge from generations is also another important value in the Navajo tribe. Stories and myths are handed down to be told so they will never be forgotten and also to tell stories that they believed held knowledge to better themselves. Stories are of great importance in the Navajo community because it is believed that it was a way to connect to the Holy People (McPherson 2012). The myths help recognize symbolized...
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