Introduction / History The Navajo people are an indigenous tribe located in the southwest of the United States. They refer to themselves as the Diné, and speak an Athabaskan language. The Navajo people first encountered Spanish colonizers in the 17th century, and have undergone much hardship and near extinction. The Navajo people today are a federally recognized nation with its own sovereignty, and self governing authorities on the reservation.
Where are they located? Most Navajos live on the Navajo reservation, which is made up of the boundaries of northeast Arizona, northwest New Mexico, and southeast Utah. It is the largest Indian reservation in the United States. Other Navajos live in rural towns near the reservation.
What are their lives like? Navajos live modern life while still retaining their culture and heritage. While some are employed and working, there are others that are poverty stricken. There are problems that exist on the reservation such as alcohol and drug abuse, and family problems. Despite all this, Navajos have adjusted and adapted to modern American living for the most part.
What are their beliefs? Some Navajos are Christian, but are mostly either non-religious or believe in the Navajo Traditional Religion. There is also a multitude of those involved in the Native American Church. The Navajo Traditional Religion is the Indigenous religion of the Navajo passed down from generation to generation. There are many elements of animism and shamanism in their Traditional Religion.
References Canyon de Chelly through Navajo Eyes, Sky Horse Productions, (2016) Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0jEaEkj0Pg Linford, L.D., Navajo Places: History, Legend, Landscape, The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT Matthews W., Navaho Legends, The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, UT Navajo Nation Government, (ND) Retrieved from: http://www.navajo-nsn.gov/history.htm Oral Tradition and History of the Diné