The four sacred mountains are:North -- Mt. Hesperus, or Dibe'ntsaaa, (West of Durango, Colorado).South -- Mt. Taylor or Yucca Mountain, or Tsoodzil, (Near Grants, New Mexico).East -- Mt. Blanca or Gobernador Knob, or Tsisnaajini', (East of Alamosa, Colorado).West -- San Francisco Peaks or Huerfanao Mountain, or Doko'oosliid, (Near Flagstaff, Arizona). This is the highest mountain in Arizona, and the city of Flagstaff is at its base.The two sacred rivers bound the region at the north and south:North -- San Juan River (along southern Utah border).South -- Little Colorado River (middle of Arizona).
The Navajo today are not a pueblo people; rather they dwell a good distance apart from each other in separate houses, though often in close proximity to family. The Navajo appreciate and respect their culture
Men hunted, fished, and made jewelry
Men hunted, fished, made jewelry, and led the tribeWomen watched the children, their arts, including weaving, basket making, pottery making, and jewelry making continue to be passed on to daughters and granddaughters. Many Navajo children raised on the reservation continue to herd sheep and livestock, ride horses and have races. The Diné believe they are sustained as a nation because of their enduring faith in the Great Spirit. Because of their strong spirituality, the Navajo people believe they will continue to survive as an Indian nation forever. Their spiritual belief is 24/7 with the earth. Sweat houses,
KinaaldaA Navajo girl, upon reaching the age of 13 and experiencing her first menstrual period becomes initiated into womanhood by a beautiful 4-day ritual entitled the Kinaalda, which is part of the Navajo Blessing Way Ceremony. The Kinaalda literally translates “puberty ceremony,” and this term is interchangeable with both the girl and the ceremony.
Navajo teens preparing for their yearly Festival in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Grew or hunted most of their food, buffalo and deer, Raised sheep for both wool and foodCorn was the most important food and they ground it, dried it or ate it fresh off the stalkThe also grew squash, beans and melons
As white settlers and prospectors pushed westward in the latter half of the 19th century, displacement of Native Americans from their ancestral homelands became commonplace. One of the most tragic episodes of exile was the Long Walk in 1864. When the Navajos tried to take advantage of the military slack caused by the outbreak of the Civil War, the US government sent Colonel Kit Carson to settle the uprising. His mission was to gather the Navajo together and move them to Fort Sumner on the Bosque Redondo Reservation. When the Indians refused to move and hid in the Canyon de Chelly, he began a merciless economic campaign destroying crops and livestock, burning villages and killing people. By destroying their food supplies, eventually he convinced the Navajos that going to the reservation was the only way to survive. Most of the Navajos were forced to walk more than 300 miles to captivity; many did not survive the journey.In 1864, the Navajos, among with some other tribes, a total of 8,000-9,000 people, began their "Long Walk" to Fort Sumner. Along the 300 miles trip from northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico, about 200 people died of cold and starvation. Many more people died after they arrived at the barren reservation, a desolate tract on the Pecos River in eastern New Mexico. The Navajos endured the wretched camp for four years. In 1868, partly as a recognition of their mistake, the US government allowed the people to return to their homeland.
Used as a ritual for cleansing the body and
Song for the Morning, the Navajo Sacred Mountains.
Yá'át'ééh Welcome to the World of the Navajo Indians