Essay on Navajo
Navajo Indian Tribe
1. Navajo is the largest Native American tribe in North America. Traditionally the creation of the tribe was marked by the usage of special corn meal for the blessing. Thus, corn sets a very important place in the households of Navajos. Navajo religion worships the powers of nature, such as sun and water, and number of gods who interfere with people’s lives. They believe there is an almighty and the sun is viewed as his power. In the course of the tribe’s history most of their religious beliefs were adopted from Pueblo people (Birchfield). Both of these tribes have traditionally been involved in agriculture and worshiped the gods of nature. Unlike in the language of Navajos, there is no word for religion in the Pueblo language. The religious beliefs are interlaced in many aspects of culture, including farming, storytelling, dances, art, architecture, and other activities._________________________________________________________
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2. The name of the tribe "Anasazi" means the "ancient people". This tribe has always suffered from territorial conflicts and the animosity of surrounding tribes. This was reflected in the social structure of the tribe, leading to constant conflict and rivalry. Consequently, the warriors are the most respected members of the Anasazi tribe. The Natchez people have a very unusual social system and marriage rules. Surprisingly, the members of the highest caste of Natchez are required to marry the people of the lowest caste (Kimball).
3. The Zuni tribe lives on the Arizona / New Mexico border, along the Zuni River. Like most of the Native American tribes Zuni are concerned with agriculture. Zuni’s spirituality is shown in every aspect of their life. They have a series of religious ceremonies which apply in every situation in their lives. Their religious beliefs are centered on three main entities: “Earth Mother, Sun Father and Moonlight-Giving Mother” (Kittelson). For, Pueblo, the most developed Native American community, religion and spirituality are also incorporated in every day life practices. The divine beings for them are visionary beings that bring blessings and in return receive love and warship. Thus, the spirituality and belief in gods is incorporated in various people’s activities of both tribes (Birchfield).
4. Since the advent of Europeans in North America, they tried to change the live ways and traditions of the Native American people. The internal colonialism led to the dislodgment of Native American peoples by the expansion of the Europeans. Such state of thins led to the isolation and suppression of Native Americans in reservations. Furthermore, it resulted in assimilation and spread of racist ideas regarding Native Americans. The internal colonialism has had a dramatic impact on the lives of the Native Americans. In fact, even today, internal colonialism and its drastic effects influence the lives of Native American tribes (Childs).
5. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tribe is “A unit of sociopolitical organization consisting of a number of families, clans, or other groups who share a common ancestry and culture and among whom leadership is typically neither formalized nor permanent”. The word “tribe” perfectly conveys the reality of the lives of Native American groups. Their communities have for centuries lived in small groups that had their own traditions, norms and rules. In the example of such tribes as Zuni, Pueblo, Navajo we see that each of these tribes has its particular origin and social structure, though at the same time they have common traditions and their beliefs are basically centered around the same powers.
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...Draft on Navajo Culture David Cable ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Prof. Justine Lemos July 19, 2012 I) Introduction: The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American group in America today, and is the biggest Indian reservation in the United States. Situated in the northeastern part of Arizona and in the northwestern part of New Mexico, it is comprised of nearly ten million acres, or roughly fifteen thousand square miles. In this research paper the author will discuss at least three aspects of the Navajo culture that will include the kinship that the Navajo have with each other, the social structure within Navajo society, the economic organization that sustains the culture and their beliefs and values that these people share, including some of their rituals and ceremonies. In addition, the author will conclude with some facts about life on the reservation today and how tourism has become part of the Navajo culture. II) Body: The Navajo (or Dine People) as they prefer to be called, are a pastoral, semi-nomadic people who live in one of the most arid and barren lands of the Great American Deserts in the Southwest. A) Kinship: The Navajo people have a kinship that follows the lineage of women, and unlike most Pastoral societies which are patrilineal / patrilocal, the Navajo are one of a handful of societies that are matrilineal / matrilocal. This is because the central symbol of their social organization is motherhood, in which the Navajo find......
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...jijlknmopi ----------------------- [pic] Social Norms – Etiquette • If someone dies in the Hogan, it shall be burned or never dwelled in again. • Prolonged eye contact is disrespectful • Pointing is considered insulting • Marriages are arranged • Resources • Sheep • Cattle • Wool • Yarn • Jewelry • Pottery Developed as a Final Project for Cultural and Spiritual Considerations in Nursing King College RN to BSN Program Professor Dr Phyllis du Mont Jimmy T. Davis Summer/2012 The Navajo Nation Customs • Nomads • Weaving • Burial Rituals • Hogans Dietary Guidelines • All foods consumed must come primarily from nature. • Meats: Elk, antelope, rabbits, rats, Health • Diabetes Mellitus • Reproductive-Organ Cancer • Alcoholism • Severe Combined Immunodeficiency(SCID) Street Address Suite 555 City, State 55555 www.webaddress.com E: email@example.com P: 555-555-5555 M: 555-555-5555 F: 555-555-5555 Company Name Here Religious Influences • Believes humans are related to 4 legged animals, birds, and the land. Worship is based on Mother Earth & Father Sky. Cultural Differences • Very family oriented • Spiritual healers used rather than medicine Cultural Differences -......
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...Culture of the Navajo Indian Tribe, Past & Present Ashford University Introduction to Cultural Anthropology ANT101 Robert Moon November 11, 2012 Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 Thesis statement 3 Introduction 3 Primary mode of subsistence 3 Kinship 4 Beliefs and values 4 Economic organization 5 The Navajo and World War II 6 The Navajo Indian in Modern Times 6 Closing Thoughts 7 Thesis statement The Navajo Indian is the largest tribe in North America, how did their culture develop over time and where are they today in regards to modern times? Introduction There is great respect through the Navajo Culture with regards to their kinship system. They are very traditional towards they religion and family life. They have great feelings about the land that surrounds them and believe that all things have meaning and soul. From the past they were mostly nomadic until they met the Pueblo. The Pueblo helped them to develop more towards being domestic rather than being a foraging society. Later the Spanish came and they learned more about trading and working with foreign cultures. They thrived in to large tribes in the 1700’s to the late 1800’s. But change was to come as the Europeans came to North America. The Indians were not treated with much respect and they were forced to live on reservations. After many hard years the Navajo have come to be the largest Indian tribe in North America. They are still very traditional but have modernized in...
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...The Navajo Ways of Life Navajo Way of Life Kathleen E. St.Cyr ANT101 Jeffrey Ratcliffe July 16, 2012 Every culture has a primary mode of subsistence that makes them unique. Among the Navajo culture their primary mode of subsistence are pastoralists. Pastoralists have an impact on different aspects with in the culture. The aspects that I will be discussing will be the Navajo’s beliefs and values, sickness and healing, kinship, and their social organization. “Pastoralists are those who regularly move in search of naturally occurring grass and water.” (Nowak & Laird, 2010) Navajo’s are an Indian tribe that live on reservations and sometimes reside on public domains outside of the reservations. The Navajo nation is the largest reservation in North America. The Navajo tribe is the natives of what is called the Four Corners region that reside in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. Navajo’s call themselves Dineh, meaning “the people.” “Up until 1848, the land on which the Navajos lived had belonged to Mexico. The Navajos had to continually fight not only the Spanish, but also other Indian tribes in order to live on this land.” (Oracle ThinkQuest, The Navajo People) They continued this fight up until the 1850’s and 1860’s when Americans built Fort Defiance for the Navajo country, near what is now called Window Rock, Arizona. Only soon to be captured and killed by the Americans. After having to surrender and forced to walk 300 miles to......
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...Navajos is a valued tradition in cultural Anthropology in the Western United States that dates back and has drastically changed throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This is a critical subject and has grown through the diversities that it once martyred through this free country. I accept and will be expressing a few points throughout my paper that is of importance in my eyes to see the changes it has bestowed upon us who is not a part of their everyday cultural life and with the Natives who live this lifestyle everyday. Many of the cultured ways of living for the Navajo is geared towards families. They have for many years had ceremonies and rituals in forms of healing. They have ceremonies that can last up to nine days and some that are as little as two. Most of the more severe illnesses take the latter length of the rituals. In some of the ceremonies they have paintings or alters. Also there are many rituals that contain the head dress of the chanter. A chanter is the one who studies to do the rituals and there may be up to 58 chants and prayers that they need to learn. They may not have to always learn that many chants because if they can't they can choose to specialize in particular ones. For example there is a celebrating of maturity among the navajo. This is evidence that they are entering womanhood. ...
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...The Navajo Indian Cultural Anthropology The Navajo Indians of the Southwestern United states have a distinct social organization, kinship, and a both traditional and biomedical way that they approach sickness and healing. Their social organization revolves around their community and the Earth. Kinship for the Navajo is matriarchal and they are a pastoral society. The traditional Navajo have medicine men that the tribe goes to for any sickness and healing that needs to be done. The modern Navajo has established the Indian Health Service as their standard medical facility and agency. I will go into more detail on all three areas of the tribe’s society of the Navajo people throughout this paper. The tribes of the Navajo Indians are located in Southwest region of the United States. They range from Southwestern Colorado, Northwestern New Mexico, and Northeastern Arizona. Most of the Navajo Indians live on reservations in northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico. The Navajo are the second largest of the Native American tribes and have a population of 7.2% of the Native Americans. They are second to Native Alaskans ((U.S. Census Bureau, 2008).. The marriage rate in the Navajo nation is forty five percent. Only seven percent have a college degree. They have the lowest income level out of all of the Native American tribes. They have a large poverty rate at thirty seven percent. The La Plata Mountain of Southwest Colorado are considered a sacred place for the......
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...The Navajo Indians are situated in the northeastern portion of Arizona and their reservation is in the Northwestern part of New Mexico. The Navajo reservation is the largest Indian reservation in the United States. The reservation stretched twenty five thousand square miles and encompasses sixteen acres. This is the place where the Dine (Navajo) called home. The Navajo people live by stringent guidelines when it comes to social, economic and tending to the sick and healing practices. They raided Spanish settlers to get horses for hunting and fighting and also became known as great warriors by the Spanish. The Navajo’s became beautiful silversmiths, which traded their woven rugs and silver jewelry as a way of life. The Navajos had many fascinating beliefs. The Navajo Indians believe that the creator placed them in the middle of four major mountains that represent the four cardinal directions. The Holy Ones lived in the four sacred mountains which formed the boundaries of the Navajo land. They believe that the spiritual and physical world blends together, and that every living thing is alive and sacred. The Holy ones are attracted by their prayers, ritual songs, stories, and paintings. The Navajos have two major ceremonies. The Blessing Way keeps them on the path of wisdom and happiness. The Enemy Way eliminates ghost and discourages evil spirits. The healing ceremony is the well-known ceremony which is called a sing. A Navajo medicine man sings and creates......
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Navajo Indians and Their Culture
...Navajo Indians and Their Culture Kimberly Davis Intro. To Cultural Anthropology Instructor Jason Gonzalez 04/02/2013 Within the Navajo community, there are several dynamics that are used to keep the community together. Their culture, family bonds and work ethics are all factors that play major roles in the raising of their families and also with maintaining their land and properties. By nature, Navajo Indians are born Pastoralists, which means they are natural farmers of land. These ethics and techniques have been passed down from generation to generation from birth. This paper will explore how they communicate with one another and how they function together to maintain their culture and beliefs. I. Pastoralists a. Definition b. How Important Is It To Be A Pastoralists To The Navajo Indians 1. How did it become their primary mode of subsistence 2. Is this different from being just a farmer and in what ways II. What Are Three Aspects of Their Culture A. Beliefs and Values 1. What are they? 2. How are they determined? B. Kinship 1. Who is considered to be the head of the Tribe? 2. How is this determined? C. Sickness and Healing 1. Spiritual Aspect 2. Do they believe in modern medicine? References The Sense of Collectivism and Individualism among Husbands and Wives in Traditional and Bi-Cultural Navajo Families on the Navajo Reservation. Journal of Comparative Family Studies. Sept2011, Vol.......
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...Anthropology: The Navajo Ashley Miller ANT101 Daniel Diaz Reyes June 16, 2013 The Navajo The Navajo, also known as the Diné, are one of the largest Native American Tribes in the world. Their culture is made up of very distinct and unique characteristics that have been passed down from generation to generation. They have been taught to adapt to their surroundings and to the land. Each moral, standard, belief and value are what make the Navajo so unique to the Native Americans. In the following, their primary mode of subsistence, kinship system, beliefs, values, and economic organizations will be briefly examined to gain a better knowledge of the Navajo culture. The Navajo culture were originally foragers, traveling across land in search of unsettled land and resources for their tribes. After migrating south from the pacific northwest over 700 years ago, the Navajo settled in Southwest America. They were then introduced to sheep by the Spaniards and soon after been pastoral and started growing small crops and caring for their animals. According to the Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural American, “A Navajo is “born to” the mother’s clan and “born for” the father’s clan” (Birchfield, 2000). It is said that the Navajo society is matrilineal, meaning that a clan’s identity is derived from the female. In a traditional introduction, the Navajo will first introduce themselves by naming the maternal clan, followed by the paternal clan. Historically,......
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...The Navajo Navajo’s primary mode of subsistence is pastoralists, who lived an abnormal life compared to today’s culture. They spend much of their time herding and caring for their animals. Their life moves with the four seasons as they travel to each of their Hogan’s in search of grass and water for themselves and the animals to live. They believe they are one with the environment and the earth is their mother. Each family member of the Navajo, from the elders to the kids, all work very hard together to perform the duties necessary for not only their survival also the animal’s survival. There are different aspects of their culture which is affected by pastoralist but I will be discussing three of them, which are kinship, their beliefs and values, and the social organization. 1. Kinship A. Animals B. Environmental Adaptations C. Property 2. Beliefs and Values A. Division of Labor B. Ceremonies and Pollen C. Religion 3. Social organization A. Relationship With Mother Earth B. Bond to family As for the kinship, the Navajos belonged to a matrilineal society, where property, status, etc. are inherited through women. The Navajo people have a kinship system that follows the lineage of women. There is a complementary relationship between the male and female in the Navajo culture and the importance of blood and voice in constructing a person. The Navajo body, of men and women, is viewed as having a female side (the right side)...
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Navajo Culture (Anthropology)
...Navajo Culture The Navajos came into the Southwest sometime around the 16th century, they were a small group of hunting and gathering people. We know them as Navajo but they would call themselves Diné, which stood for “The People”. “The Navajo are Athapaskan speakers whose language is similar to that of the Apache” (Arizona Board of Regents). They have a broad culture and were known for the ability to survive and adapt really well, especially to local cultures. There primary mode of subsistence is Pastoralists, they utilize farming as a key mode for living. Looking ahead we will gain in depth more knowledge and understanding about the Navajo culture; what were their beliefs, kinship, social organization and more. The word Navajo comes from the phrase Tewa Navahu, meaning highly cultivated lands (Navajo Indians 2013). In the 1500s they originally started up their tribe and are considered to be one of the largest tribe of all the Native American Indians. There is two areas that are highly populated with the Navajo, New Mexico and Arizona. Navajo are very simple when it comes to their way of living which is much different than other cultures. Their homes are made of sticks, mud and tree bark, it’s much like a shelter rather than a home. These homes were known as hogans, and their doors faced the east to be sure the sun would shine in (Navajo Indians 2013). In order to get things such as meat and different forms of materials for making weapons and tools they would......
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The Navajo Culture
...The Navajo Culture David Rodriguez Introduction to Cultural Anthropology ANT: 101 Amy Van Surksum June 24, 2013 The Navajo Culture American culture is made up of many different people, and many of those people come from Indian tribes. The United States Governments Federal Register lists 566 tribes recognized as of August 2012. One of those tribes is the Navajo which can be found primarily in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. Navajo culture is one that many people associate with by what is portrayed in movies. People view the culture as land raiding individuals that pillaged and wreaked havoc with anyone and anything they came in contact with. Navajo started from the beginning in what is known as Changing Woman, and is one of the myths in Navajo belief which is identified as both creator and protector. She is the first and pre-emanate mother that has bestowed certain ceremonies that protect the people from evil forces. Changing Woman is believed to have lived on a small pacific Island where she created the Earth Surface People along with the Dine` known as the Navajo. Changing Woman sent the people on a long migration when she saw that the island was getting to small from the people multiplying. Changing Woman did not send them empty handed, so she sent them on the journey with sheep and horses to the land between the sacred mountains. In the early eighteenth century is when Navajo pastoralism arose, men and women incorporated livestock and before......
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...Running Head: Nation within a Nation Amy Lamb Ashford University ANT 101 Instructor Rebekah Zinser July 29th 2013 The Navajo, also known as Dine`, are some of the first Indians who set foot in America. The primary mode of subsistence for any culture means a way of supporting life. The Navajo’s primary modes of subsistence are pastoralists. How does a pastoralist society impact beliefs and values, healing and sickness, and kinship of the Navajo culture? These are the three aspects I plan to discuss and prove that the Navajo Nation is a Nation within a Nation. The Navajo Nation is a semi-autonomous Native American-governed territory covering 27,425 square miles, occupying portions of northeastern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and northwestern New Mexico. (Linford, 2000) The Navajo reservation is the largest Indian tribe in North America. The Navajo’s are a pastoral and agriculture society. They use farming and herding as their primary mode of subsistence. The Navajo culture is of spiritual nature. The Dine` believes in having a spiritual relationship with their land. The Navajo’s are known as people who are in tune with the spiritual world, and they are spiritual beings. The Navajo wish to live their culture and lives without interference of the Western World government. “We do not like relief and want to make our own living and we know we can do so if we are left alone.”(Lee, 2007). According to Clah Cheschillige, in the 19th century and......
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The Navajo Way
...The Navajo Way Lucious Davis ANT:101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Instructor: Jessie Cohen March 10, 2012 The story of the Navajo is one that is filled with triumph, tragedy, and hope. The Navajo are a pastoral people originating in North America. The culture of the Navajo’s is a one filled with traditions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. Their culture is what defines them and it is a major factor in the way they live their lives- including their social organization, beliefs and the way they heal their sick. Background Few cultures have left their imprint on North America like the Navajo. With over 300,000 members, the Navajo are the largest federally recognized tribe in the Unites States. Originating in northwest Canada and eastern Alaska, the Navajo, along with other groups like the Apache migrated to their more commonly known territory- the southwestern United States. Accounts have dated the occupation of the southwestern United States by the Navajo to stretch as far back as 1400. Throughout history, the Navajo have expanded their territory through raiding and commerce, now are mostly confined to a small area that is called the “Four Corners”. This is the area of the southwest United States that is comprised of: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The Navajo can best be described as seminomadic- they tend to move according to the seasons. Jett (1978) stated that the actual movement patterns can vary greatly from...
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...The Makings of a Navajo Society Anthropology 101 The Dineh or "The People" as the Navajo call themselves are a horticultural society that migrated to the Southwest between the fourteenth and fifteenth century. They relied on what little food that they could hunt or gather but because of the lack of water in the region, grew to largely depend on their herds of sheep as both a source of food and wealth in their society. The Navajo are made up of a matrilineal society, where the women took care of the family and the household, while the men go hunt. They are a very spiritual people that believe in the balance and harmony of one’s life, which is obtained through many religious rituals and the help of a medicine man. The Navajo people are a very full and colorful society but due to wars and forced migrations into territories, have slowly faded into today’s society and are still losing the brilliant and peaceful culture that made them so strong, so long ago when just worrying about what pattern they would weave was a burden. The Navajo tribe is not really made up of any social organization, in a sense that there is no rank or political position in their tribe. The hierarchy is more determined by kinship and the family that a person resides with. There is a tribal leader in the Navajo community but he does not really have any coercive power or authority, unlike today’s tribal hierarchy which is similar to our own democracy. ......
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