The Navajo People And Their Culture

How many of us growing up wished a six shooter and a sheriffs badge for Xmas? When Santa put them inside our stockings, the exhilaration then considered who was heading to be the Lone Ranger and who was simply going to be Tonto? At onetime or another, just about everyone has played Cowboys and Indians, appropriate? As kids growing up, just about everyone has seen the dark-colored and white American videos portraying life in the Wild, Wild Western. We were all fired up by what was being shown on the silver screen. We all wished to feel that outrageous excitement and adventure inside our own lives. Were the lives of the Cowboys and Indians that we noticed on the big screen properly depicted? Were all Indians that resided in those times really body thirsty savages? Relating to Hollywood they were. Nevertheless, you some Indians were not. Some Indians were just trying to make it through in a land that at sometimes is not survivable. Take for example the Navajo. The land that they call home is some of the most arid land in this nation.

In this reading we will discuss what a Navajo person is. We will explore their background. Where they originated from. The social changes that impacted just how they live. Their values and beliefs, the kinships that they have and exactly how they treat themselves in times of sickness. Preferably, after we have journeyed down this course of knowledge, we will have an improved knowledge of a people who are in true harmony with all that surrounds them. For this is through this harmonious balance that the Navajo have endured here in the united states for the past millenniums.

If one were to look at the annals of the Navajo, they would find these folks have a willingness to adapt foreign ideas and life styles to their own. Anthropologists have found that the first Navajo individuals were nomadic in character until that they had other cultures impact their lifetime. If we go through the Navajo history within the United States, we will see that their timeline is relatively short in comparison to the Pueblo or even the Hohokam Indians. The Navajo migrated from Canada sometime between 900 and 1200 Advertising and resolved down in the Southwest part of the country. (Some archaeologists claim that the time frame was no later than 1025 Advertisement rather than 775 years later that some might suggest. ) It was during this migration that the Navajo emerged in contact with the Pueblo Indian. It had been through this connection with the Pueblo Indians that experienced a deep impact upon the Navajo people. The social impact of the Pueblo Indians would lead the Navajo people from being nomadic in nature to a sedimentary lifestyle. We will discuss this a little later in this newspaper. Another culture that enjoyed an important part on the ethnic change of the Navajo was the Spanish Colonist that lived here in america in those days. These Spaniards demonstrated the Navajos how to have a tendency flocks of sheep. That is said to be one of the very most import changes in the Navajo people. "It is unclear if the Navajo were solely foragers or mixed cultivators prior to the Spanish introduction of sheep in the early 18th century" (Weisiger, 2004). The Spanish were also those that revealed the Navajo horses and exactly how they can be used for transport and then for plowing fields. With all the benefits of sheep to the Navajo people, they started slowly and gradually moving south and western searching for more and better pasture lands to herd sheep on. With this migration to the Southwest the Navajo faced other Indian groups that sought what that they had. Especially the Plains Indians, who got their sheep, women, and children. In response to these episodes, the Navajo started to build protective settlements up saturated in the mesa plateaus. This is reminiscent of the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi Indians who inhabited the Southwestern USA for over 2500 years and of the Pueblo Indians who have been a major affect on the Navajo.

The present day Navajo people are an agriculturalist people. In the last times of the Navajo, these were more like the modern-day Apache, being gathers and hunters. With this type of lifestyle, these were considered a nomadic people. They transferred from destination to place without really establishing a permanent dwelling. Once the Navajo migrated from Canada a social change occurred that made the Navajo who they are today. It is important to point out that this migration from Canada to the Southwest United States is "not described in any Navajo oral customs or ceremonial rights". (J. Morris, personal communication, Sept 20, 2012) One of many affects the Pueblo Indians had on the Navajo was farming. This is to be the Navajo's most important mode of subsistence. With this ethnical change, the Navajo were to become a more sedimentary people then their forefathers. Additionally it is noted that through the Navajo's adaptation of the Pueblo lifestyle, the Pueblo's and Navajo have had an extended and important marriage that may be seen today in the modern day lifestyle of the Navajo.

In the history of the Navajo, the Pueblo Indians taught them how to cultivate the land and grow beans, corn and squash. This resulted in the Navajo to a horticultural modern culture. In modern times, farming has been supplemented by herding of sheep, goats, and cattle. In parts of the Southwest USA, farming has been basically superseded by herding as a means of substance for the Navajo. This has improved the Navajo from a horticultural contemporary society into an agriculturalist culture. Wealth in the Navajo culture is held by the ladies and young girls who own all the sheep. Alternatively, the men own the cattle and horses. Using the Navajo population being matrilineal, all the inheritance is approved through the ladies. In doing this, women own their own herds of sheep and the merchandise of their sheep produce. This possession of the sheep is a key social status icon in the Navajo population. It is because the Navajo think that sheep were here even before they were. Inside our course reading there is a passage that expresses "Navajo sheep are owned by individuals, but the herds are maintained communally within the matrilocal residential group. The merchandise from the herd are distributed: all owners add animals for beef, and wool is shorn and sold communally by the personal head for the benefit for the group". (Nowak, B. & Laird, P. (2010) Cultural Anthropology, Sec 5. 2, Pg. 9)

The Navajo values are centered on Changing Woman. She is the creator of the first four clans of the Navajo. The titles of the first four clans are the Edge Water Clan, The Bitter Normal water Clan, The Towering House Clan and the One-Walks-Around Clan. In newer times, the Navajo "have added more clans to the list. There are approximately 17 other clans in the Navajo. This is because of the assimilation of other folks, mainly the Mexicans and Spaniards, which have moved to the United States and have married into the Navajo clans". (J. Morris, personal communication, Sept 20, 2012) It is stated that Changing Women had to undergo 3 different worlds before she could come here. In passing through the first 3 worlds, Changing Women helped bring with her sacred dirt from the First World. With this dirt, she created the four sacred mountains which are Mt. Blanca in the east, Mt. Taylor in the south. The San Francisco Peaks in the western world, and Mt. Hesperus in the north. These four mountains create the restrictions of the Navajo land. Within these restrictions (roughly 28, 000 rectangular a long way) live over 300, 000 Navajo. This is actually the largest attention of Native People in the usa in the US.

The tale of Changing Women state governments that when she attained the fourth world, she rubbed the first four clans off her own skin thus creating the Navajo people. The Navajo say "We were created from Changing Female. " Changing Girl is also known as "Earth Mother", she epitomizes motherhood and most of its wonders. She also serves as the role model for all Navajo women to make an effort to emulate. (Griffin-Pierce, 2000)

In the Navajo home it is the Mother-Child bond that is the principal kinship. This kinship coexists with the Wife-Husband kinship. On the other hand, the secondary degree of kinship in the household is one of the Father-Child connection and the Sibling-Sibling bond. The connection between your dad and his children is through the mother. As being a Navajo, women and girls are anticipated to emulate Changing Female. They are to bring about new life. They are really to nurturer the kids that they will bear. They are simply to do all mothering responsibilities such as medical, bathing, and feeding, weaning, clothing, comforting and educating. By this, they are the bearers of life, much like Changing Women. For any Navajo guy, their role is usually to be a preserver and a protector of life. "The role of any Navajo dad in family members is to provide those ideas the mother and children cannot give themselves, which includes hunting for pets and doing other male-associated tasks". (Witherspoon 1975) In modern times, these gender tasks have transformed. Men are now doing the major portion of the farming. They also have taken over the ranching. It is also important to indicate that Navajo women will battle. That is "a difficulty for some Navajo men to come to terms with. For this is through the women that the Navajo will continue one". (J. Morris, personal communication, Sept 20, 2012)

The Navajo creation story, Dine' Bahane' (History of the People), plays a significant part as a model of the social business of their society. This account helps shape what sort of Navajo view the world around them. "The central mark of Navajo cultural firm is motherhood. The symbolic so this means of motherhood is found in life, reproduction, and subsistence. It really is indicated in affectionate good care and in the offering or providing of food. The essential unit of the concrete cultural system of the Navajo, the subsistence personal unit, is organized, structured, and integrated by the icons of motherhood" (Witherspoon 1970).

When it involves sickness and health problems, "the Navajo have traditional therapeutic practices which have been used for generations and still have a energetic existence highly relevant to everyday Navajo life; Religious healing traditions, ranging from Catholic Charismatic to Protestant Pentecostal; and procedures of the Local American Cathedral. " (Begay 2000) The visible figure to all or any traditional healings is the Medication Man. The Drugs Man or Healer is responsible for the healing ceremony of the sick person. His main role is to restore harmony, balance, beauty or health to the afflicted specific. Before the medication man can cure the patient, he must detect the problems that his patient has. He does indeed this by using special tools like rock crystals, chanting prayers or by hand-trembling. After he understands what the ailment is, he then chants a prayer over the individual to mend them. "Some prayers can keep going only each day while others can last a lot longer depending on patient's ailments". (J. Morris, personal communication, September 20, 2012) Most Navajo will go to the Medication Man first before they'll seek Western medical attention in a clinic or medical center. A Treatments Man is taught by a get good at before he can become a Remedies Man by himself. He is educated around 50 to 60 sacred ceremonial protection under the law. A few of these ceremonies can go on more than 4 times or more in time to be effective in recovering the sick. When it comes to training these rituals, the Navajo have a building that is built specifically for this goal. This structure is called a 'Hogan'. These constructions were used as homes before however now they are used solely for spiritual and social purposes. Although, it is stated that most elderly Navajo people still want to live in one instead of a traditional western style home.

For a Navajo to be a well balanced specific, she or he must possess a harmonious degree of the four principles of life. Just like the four sacred mountains are central with their beliefs, the four principles of life are just as sacred to them. These four values are: value of the human life, beliefs of work, value of human being relations and the worthiness of value. When an individual has been taught these four values these are harmonious with character and everything beings. They are also thought of a well educated being. The Navajo have a saying that claims: "In the same way corn needs four things: sunlight, normal water, air, and ground to increase; so a Navajo needs the four values: worth of Life, ideals of Work, ideals of Public/Human Relationships, and prices of Respect/Reverence to grow"(Davis 2008). These worth are a few of the most crucial ones that require to be taught to all mankind living here on the planet. If most of us could live with these prices prominent in our lives there would be no more corruption or battle throughout this world.

As the Navajo people have grown and modified to their area these earlier few millenniums, their life encounters, beliefs and values have helped condition them from what they may be today. They have had a long record of widening their ranges for their sheep and cattle and with this development they have adapted to the changes that these were presented. This has also possessed a refining aftereffect of who they are and how they can fit into this ever before changing world that they are a part of. They also have shown they can prove their value to other sets of Native Americans and to the Europeans which may have migrated into their little slice of the nation. Their ethnic change has resulted from a blend of commerce and trade with the Pueblo, Apache, Ute, Comanche and Spanish individuals and from other working feuds with the Hopi. This has all been occur the ever before changing and awe motivating environment of the Southwest USA.

How a lot of now would like to be the Indian when we played out Cowboys and Indians inside our youth? Hopefully, most of us would, with this new knowledge of knowing how the Navajo have designed to changes which have made them the individuals who they are today. A people that are proud of their heritage and proud of their accomplishments they have done because of this great nation.

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