Navajo Culture Research Project
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Instructor Alfred Wilfong
June 1, 2012
Navajo Culture Research 2
The Navajo culture is a tribe who works together as one. There believes are spiritual healing that are performed through ceremonies. However, this culture not along have high believes in their god. They also have several different aspects about their culture. Their land and animals are their top priority of living, trading, and surviving in their society.
The Navajo culture kinship and marriage is defined into two kinds of human beings. Male and female because of their distinctive features of each are their particular genitalia (Reichard 1950:31).The marriages were arranged by the parents and uncles and were taken seriously. The gifts were taken and a formal ceremony took place (Blankenhorn, 2007 p.117). Navajo marriage, including the gifts from the groom’s family to the bride’s, kin, was intended solely to guarantee the husband’s “sexual rights” to his wife (Blankenhorn, 2007 p.117). Therefore, once the bride and groom are united in matrimony they began to start a family. Navajo women role in the marriage was to take care of the children and cooking for the family. The women were farmers they tended to livestock. Navajo men were hunters, warriors, and political leaders (www.bigorrin.org). The children of this culture had interesting events in their life as they reached puberty. The girls had a ceremony for them when they started their menstrual. This ceremony was called “the kinaalda ceremony” is performed by the women of the culture; the girl involved in the ceremony was not allowed to dress herself nor touch her own skin (www.pbs.org). However, the ceremony took place for four days it included dancing and music; the food for the ceremony was a caked made out grinding corn the cake was called “alkaan” (www.pbs.org). While the ceremony is taking place the young girl is on a restricted diet, she is prohibited from dressing herself, combing her hair. The members of the culture are to Navajo Culture Research 3
help participate in the helping of the ceremony (www.pbs.org). Before the ceremony is to take place the girl will be dress in a made costume of shell and other ornaments with special jewelry her faced painted with white clay mixture ( www.pbs.org). Therefore, by wearing of the costume and jewelry and ornaments are meant to shoe depict of the “Changing Woman” it is to aid the girl into her journey of womanhood (www.pbs.org). The boys had a ceremony which was called the “sweat bath” the ceremony was for boys who were entering into manhood; lasted for four mornings during their initiation. The boys had to rise early before the others (Markstrom, 2008 p.166). On the other hand, the boy had to endure various physical observances, such as sharpening his eyesight by watching the gray rocks of the fireplace, running; eating light foods for days, and using a drinking tube and scratching stick (Markstrom, 2008 p.166). With this rigorous physical training were to prepare for the roles in hunting, trading, and warfare (Markstrom, 2008 p.166). The marriage was only the acceptable thing in this culture. Women of the culture were having children out of wedlock was not accepted or tolerated. The children from unmarried mothers were called “bastard”. Some Navajo mothers practical aborted or infanticide. However, some unmarital pregnancy led to adoption or even the couple getting married, and the boy’s family paying a fine to the girls’ family (Blankenhorn, 2007 p.117). Furthermore, if the marriage is not reconcilable between husband and...