Navajo People Essay

985 words - 4 pages

WHERE THEY LIVE

The Navajo tribe live on the Hopi reservation. The reservation is located in a part of north western New Mexico, the north eastern corner of Arizona, and a small portion of south western Utah. The land of the reservation is full of deserts, making it hard to farm. The Navajo land also has large mountains, and deep canyons. The capital of the Navajo nation is Window Rock, Arizona.

EARLY HISTORY

The Navajo people’s roots can be traced back to Northern Asia, in the Siberian region. They traveled to North America by the Bering Strait around 2,000 years ago. The Navajo are closely related to the Apache People, for they share the same language and some beliefs. The ...view middle of the document...

They planted their crops deep down in dry river beds. The Navajo planted blue corn, squash, and beans. When the moon was new, they planted crops. When the moon was full, they harvested their crops. According to Navajo tradition, every Navajo person was forbidden to eat fish, fowl, and eggs. They also were sheep herders. Sheep provided them with a steady supply of fresh meat. They used the wool that they sheared from the sheep, to weave into clothes and blankets.

WEAVING

The Navajo initially made their clothes from woven grass. When the weaving loom was created, clothes were made of wool. Navaho women were in charge of weaving. They used the wool from sheep herding to weave their clothes. Blankets were also made. Navaho women used plants and minerals to make dyes to tint the wool different colors.

The women’s clothes were colorful dresses made by sewing two blankets together. Men’s shirts were made the same way. The pioneers who traveled through the Navajo lands helped influence the style in which clothes were made.

WOMEN

In the Navajo clans, women ruled! The clan society was “matriarchal”, and the Navajo family was traced through the female side. The eldest woman was the most respected in the clan. Marriage must take place between two people of different clans. Marriage within one’s own clan was strictly forbidden. When a man married, he left his clan and joined his wife’s clan. The woman decided if they wanted to divorce, not the man! If the man came home and found his saddle in the front of his hogan, (instead of on the inside), that meant that it was time for him to move on. Navajo women cooked, cleaned, and made clothing. Also, the women and children supervised the herds of sheep.

CHILDREN

The children in the Navajo clan dressed exactly like their parents. They even wore...

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