Navajo Tribe Research Paper

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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 essay I will be discussing the history of the Navajo tribes and how they came to be, as well as their cultural influences. The Navajo first descended from the Apaches Around the 1600s the people who are now the Navajo tribe or as they are prefer to be called Dine (the people) settled in what is now the mountains of New Mexico. The Navajo had become capable of raising their own food, and making their own blankets, clothes etc. The…show more content…
When the Spanish came into their territory the Navajo used their sheep for things like clothing and food. They would set up trading posts within the Spanish towns with their handmade items in order to barter for things that they needed. Eventually both the Spaniards and the Mexicans began to get violent towards the Navajos tribe because the Navajos would go and raid their camps. They began to send military instillations to scare off the tribe and was successful, about 2/3 of the Navajo people surrendered and moved to new territory, for those who had refused to surrender, hid out in the mountains and canyons to avoid getting caught. In the 1862 General James Carleton built a fort for the Navajo Indians and force them all to a reservation. The Navajos settled into a reservation on Fort Sumter, but in 1864, more than five thousand Navajos were being held as prisoners. They were forced to walk 300 miles to eastern New Mexico. This walk became is famously known as “The Long Walk.” The famous treaty of 1868 was signed giving them their own territory and freedom. Later in 1869, Fort Sumner was abandoned, and purchased by a…show more content…
Many of their games and traditions have emerged from their love of the land and their attachment to it. Navajo people today are agriculturalist, “they are more like contemporary Apache, being gathers and hunters,” (Lloyd L Lee), The Pueblo Indians had major influence on the Navajo, they taught them how to cultivate land and grow beans, corn and squash. Wealth was determined by the women and girls who owned all the sheep’s, the ownership of sheep is the key social statues in Navajo society, the Navajo believe that sheep were here before we were. Ceremonies and ritual are big in the Navajo communities the performances are usually around 1-4 days, some of their chants are as long as nine days and require a dozen helpers. Their most important ceremonies are the ones for the treatments for mental and physical illness. Weaving is an important part of the Navajo culture; it is told that they learnt how to weave from and that the first loom was of sky and earth cords, with weaving tools of sunlight, lightning, white shell, and crystal. Anthropologists speculate Navajos learned to weave from Pueblo people by 1650. There is little doubt Pueblo weaving was already influenced by the Spanish by the time they shared their weaving skills with Navajo people. Spanish influence includes the substitution of wool for cotton, the introduction of indigo (blue) dye, and simple stripe patterning. Besides

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