Navajo Burial Traditions

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The Navajo Native Americans have a unique history of rituals and beliefs regarding death and burial arrangements. In this sacred life Navajo’s are very connected and family oriented. Theirs is a huge attachment and love to their lands and with this they behold very earth felt touch and healing customs. This particular paper is going to discuss the Navajo’s death and burial customs that occur within this culture. It is interesting and good to know this custom in order to make best accommodation as well as respecting ones cultural beliefs, since in this day and age we are surrounded by so many cultural diversity’s. The Navajo tribes have been practicing rituals for so long and even now in an age of union these rituals are still held strong and…show more content…
Today with the hospitals many Navajos feel its better that they pass away from home and in the hospital instead (Navajocodetalkers). They believe this will prevent the spirit from staying in their homes after death. In the hospital they can still follow their rituals to prepare for burial if hospital is accommodating to their customs. If the hospital allows the Navajos to prepare the body after death they will have a only a few close relatives come in and although presently this may not occur but they would undress only to wear moccasins and cover themselves with ash, while they begin to clean up and dress the deceased. The Navajos believed that by undressing and covering with ash to prepare the body they are protecting themselves from evil spirits (Navajo code talkers). Today since Navajo don’t practice this particular custom exactly they still feel the body is sacred and it is too be left alone after death prohibiting embalming and quickly getting the deceased buried. Burial involves the remaining loved ones to follow customs such as if the deceased died was to die at home that residence was to be destroyed and burned by family members and the deceased body would be burned as well. The family would then sit in the burning smoke, which they believe would purify them (Navajocodetalkers). In rare and last hope cases family does not want to destroy their house so before death occurs the sick person is brought out somewhere and protected by brush, where they are left to fulfill their natural process of dying, sometimes even food is brought to them until death. It is important to the Navajo that they follow order and that everyone is on board with rituals involving death to prevent any unwanted evil

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