Where does the name Navajo comefrom? How did they get the name? The name, “ Navajo” comes from Spanish inthe 18th century. The tribe calls themselves,“ Diné” which means,"the people” probably intheir language. An older spelling of the name,“ Navajo” is, “ Navaho.” Nowadays they liketo be referred to, “Navajo.” They grew cropsin fields that the Spanish called, “Nabaju,”which means “great planted fields .“Nabaju”became “Navajo” and that is pronounced“Navaho.”
What do the Navajo people live in? The Navajo people live in a dome shapedhouse called a hogan. A hogan is the type ofhouse of that they used to live in. Nowadays thehogan is considered sacred. If you were go towhere they live you may see that only a fewpeople out of the whole tribe would be living ina hogan. Hogans are usually used to doceremonial events. They build the door facingeast so they get the morning sun. They believethat if the door us facing east and the sun comesup it’s a good blessing.
Where do they live? The Navajo people live in the middle ofUtah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
Land The Navajo territory is largest Indianreservation in USA. It is 10 million acres(15thousand square miles) that is the size ofMassachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode island puttogether!
What animals live there? There are snakes, owls, deer,rabbits(cotton tail and jack), antelope, goats, sheep,small animals, praire dogs, rats, and mountainsheep.
Animals that live there● snakes● owls● deer● rabbits ( jack and cotton tail)● antelope● goats (to eat the meat)● sheep(to eat the meat and to get wool)● prairie- dogs● bear (bears can show up in sand paintings)
Animals that live there (cont.)● antelope● rats● mountain sheep
Animals they hunt● deer● antelope● rabbits (jack and cotton tail)● elk● mammoths(used to)● wild turkeys
What plants live there?● trees● corn(main food)● beans● squash● nuts● fruit trees● herbs● pinion● cedar
What plants live there? (cont.)● oak● juniper● white pine● spruce● yucca● cactus● sage bush● gramma grass● weeds
What plants live there? (cont.)● wild flowers● acorn trees● grass● weeds● cactus
Transportation Navajo people traveled by foot usually andthey never travel by boat, because theywerent near the ocean. There were no horsesin North America at that time, so they useddogs to pull travois (a type of dog sled) tohelp them carry all their bags and equipment.When the Europeans brought horses to NorthAmerica the Navajo people could travel fasterand easier.
NomadsThe Navajo people, long ago were nomads.Nomads are people who travel aroundfollowing their food(mammals). Since they hadto travel a lot they need shoes to keep theirlegs protected from cacti thorns. The Navajopeople made these moccasins that were kindof like very thick boots to protect their legs.They made the moccasins probably out ofdeerskins, because they didnt have sheepthen.
MoccasinsHere are pictures of the moccasins that I wastalking about in the slide before this one:
Language Almost all Navajo people speak English now,but there are about 150,000 Navajo peoplewho speak their Navajo language. The Navajolanguage is a hard language; it has tones andlots of different vowel sounds.
What are some words in Navajolanguage? (00:58)
How do you count to ten in theNavajo language?
Roles in the family Men and women had different jobs and ajob that the man did couldn’t be done by thewomen. The men were hunters, warriors, andpolitical leaders. Only men could be the tribeleader/chief. The women were farmers, theytended their animals, did most of cooking, anddid most of taking care of the children. Alsoartwork was made by different genders. Menmade jewelry, and the women wove rugs andmade clay pots. Both men and
Roles in the family (cont.)women told stories, played music, and madetraditional medicine. Nowadays, Navajo menare farmers and ranchers, and some Navajowomen have joined the Army.
Weapons● bows and arrows(hunting)● spears and rawhide shields (in war) In war, Navajo men shot arrows at othertribes and they also fought with spears. Theyused rawhide shields to protect themselves. The Navajo people made bow cases andquivers out of mountain lion hide. The Navajos
Weapons (cont.)thought that the mountain lion hide gave themgood luck and couarge.
Water sources● rainfall 10-14 inches● arroyos ( brooks ; creeks) and running streams● springs● rivers One river the Navajo farmers have relied onfor a long time is a river coming through theCanyon of Chelly.
History In 1848, white men decided to take overthe Navajo land. The Navajo people becameknown as fierce warriors. They fought back atthe white men. They continued to fight fortheir land until the 1850’s and 1860’s. Thewhite men then built a building called “FortDefiance” right in the middle of the Navajocountry. The white men killed and caught awhole lot of Navajo people. They also burneddown hogans and crops, and killed their
History (cont.)sheep. The Navajo people were pushed tosurrender and they did. Then they were madeto walk almost 300 miles to Fort Sumner inEastern New Mexico. This became known as, “The Great Walk.” While they walked this,many Navajos died, because they were treatedcruelly. They walked until they got to Ft.Sumner. In 1868 the Navajo people whosurvived were let free to go back to their hometown. The Navajos began to start their livesagain.
History (cont.) In the 1900’s their population had beendoubled or even more. Then they were backto their normal lives. The Navajo peoplebecame silversmiths who made beautifulturquoise jewelry. Trading woven rugs thatthey made and silver jewelry became a part oftheir normal life.
Climate The Navajo nation can have 0 degrees tosomewhere in the 80’s usually .Thetemperature can get all the way down to -30degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer it can getup to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but that is veryrare to get. After a hot day, that night thetemperature can get all the down to the 50s.In the winter snow can come very quickly.
Climate (cont.) The landscape is dry and there are very tallrocks, and there is not very much wateravailable. It is also dusty and windy, and veryhot.
Artifacts- Sand Paintings Sand paintings are also called drypaintings.When a person becomes sick or in bad healththe Navajo hold a healing ceremony wherethey make sand paintings. In a healingceremony the medicine man(called the hataali)calls the holy people to get rid of the evil, oran illness from the patient. Before theceremony the medicine man doesnt eatanything, takes a sweat bath, and meditatesALONE to learn how the patient got the illnessfrom the spirts.
Artifacts- Sand Paintings (cont.) Then the medicine man listens to the night,and looks at the stars, and he begins totremble. His whole body shakes, and his handsmove over some cornmeal until his fingersdraw a design telling the cause of the illnessand what ritual he should do to get rid of theillness. The medicine man makes the sand painting(dry painting) on buckskin or on the sand onthe
Artifacts- Sand Paintings(cont.)hogan floor. A sand painting can be small andcan be finished in a hour or so, and some sandpaintings can be as big as 20 feet long, whichrequires about a dozen assitants to completethe sand painting over the night. While themedicine man makes the sand painting hechants. He is chanting to the Yeibicheii (theholy people). The colors in the sand paintingsare made out of gypsum(color:white), yellowochre, red sandstone, charcoal, and charcol
Artifacts- Sand Paintings(cont.)and gypsum(color:blue). Brown is made out ofred and black, pink is made out of red andwhite, and other colors are mixed with cornmeal, flower pollen and powered root andbark. After the sand painting has been made,the next morning the patient is asked to sit inthe middle of the painting. They believe if thepatient sits in the middle of the sand paintingthe spirts can reach him/ her more easily.While the patient sits in the middle of the
Artifacts-Sand Paintings (cont.)sand painting, people outside sing and dance tohelp heal the patient. The ceremony can be aslong as five to nine days. During those daysthere is a sand painting(dry painting) madeeach evening/night. The sand painting must bedestroyed after each ceremony (before 12hours has passed), if they dont destroy it aftera ceremony the patient will have a badforturne(they believe). There are over fivehundred sand painting designs. They includepictures of the holy people, and constellations.
Artifacts- Sand Paintings (cont.) Here is one prayer that they say while making asand painting:Happily I recoverHappily my interior becomes coolHappliy my eyes regain their powerHappily my head becomes coolHappily my legs regain their powerHappily I hear again!Happily for me the spell if taken off!Happily may I walkIn beauty I walk.
What does the Bear Symbolize? The bear is a symbol that means power,healer, dreaming, and strength. The bearcomes up in many different places, such asrugs, and sand paintings.
Pictures of Sand painting(aka DryPaintings) Father Sky and MotherEarth
Artifacts- Rugs + BlanketsThe Navajo people make rugs and blankets outof sheep wool. They take the sheeps wool offthe sheep and then they wash the wool (onlyif they need to) with yucca roots werepounded. The wool was combed to remove anything and it was spun. The colors of the woolincluded white, black, gray, and brown fromthe wool of the sheep. Sometimes they dyethe wool different colors, such as green fromsagecrush, violet from
Artifacts- Rugs + Blankets (cont.)holly berries, yellow from golden rod, orangefrom lichens, brown for pinon trees, and redfrom mahogany roots. The Navajo people getindigo dye from travelers to dye their woolalso. Then if they wanted bright red theNavajo women used bayenta(an importatedcloth) and re-used the yarn. During cermonies, everyone wore a blanketaround them, the season and weather didntmatter. The blanket represents the cornhusk
Artifacts- Rugs + Blankets (cont.)and unbraided hair means the corn silk. Therewas this women in a legend, named SpiderWoman and she taught the Najavo people howto weave. When a baby is born in the Navajotribe the mother will go and find a spider weband she will take the web and rub it on thebabys fingers and arms. They believe thatwhen the baby is older and weaves her armsand fingers wouldnt get tired from weaving.
Artifacts- Rugs + Blankets (cont.) If you see corn stalks in a rug or a blanket thatNavajo people have made, the corn stalksrepresent the Navajo people. The corn stalksrepresent the Navajo people, because corn is aimportant part of the Navajo people. Corn is mainfood for the Navajos. Some people say corn istheir life. The vertical strings called the warpssymbolize rain, so if there is a rainstorm theybelieve they shouldnt weave. They would seemgreedy for rain to the gods, because they
Rugs and Blanket Pictures This is a picture of a blanket that chiefs wear The zigzag pattern represents male lighting.
Rugs and Blanket Pictures Straight lines represent female lightning
Chief Blankets Chief blankets are woven horziontally sothe blanket could go over their shoulders andhang down. Unlike the chief blankets, regularrugs are woven vertically.
Male Lightning + Female Rain + MaleRain Young women wore bright colored blankets,with male lightning to attract a husband. A older women would wear a blanket thathas a symbol that means female rain. Femalerain is a light gentle shower. The male rain is a storm with thunder andlightning.
Pueblo Indians with the Navajo + The Spainsh with the Navajo The Pueblo people taught the Navajo peoplehow to plant crops. The Navajo people kidnappedsome Pueblo women to teach them how to plantcrops. When the Spainsh came in the 1600s they werenot nomads anymore. They were growing crops,weaving baskets, and making pottery. Then theNavajo learned learned about horses, sheep, andcattle(from the Spanish). The Navajo only haddogs as their animals(execpt for the animals thatlived there) before the Spanish came.
Pueblo Indians with the Navajo + TheSpainsh with the NavajoThe Navajo people started trading with theSpainish and then became very good withhorses and raised sheep and goats. The Navajowomen made blankets and rugs with the wooland then weaving became a part of the Navajopeoples life.
Conclusion The Navajo people were affected by theclimate, animals, enviroment, and people whothey met. I thought that it was interesting that wasthat the Navajo people were nomads andwalked around a lot and needed tall moccasinsto wear so their legs were protected from thecacti thorns. It was really intersting that the Navajodidnt know how to plant crops and then they
Conclusion (cont.)made the Pueblo women to teach them. Thenthe Navajo people wanted tobecome farmers. After they learned how toplant corn and how to cook it, it became theirmain food. Then they really worshiped the cornstalks so they felt like they have to put picturesof corn stalks in their rugs. They also used thecorn to get corn pollen to use in their sandpaintings/dry paintings. I also found intersting that the Navajo
Conclusion (cont.)people didnt know what horses, sheep, andcattle were until the Spainsh showed them. Then once they had those animals, theybecame really good raising them. The sheepgave them a chance to weave rugs, andblankets to trade with other Indians. Withoutthe sheep they wouldnt have any wool toweave with. The Navajo people wouldnt knowhow to weave and they wouldnt have tradedrugs and blankets.