The Navajo Ways of Life
In: Social Issues
The Navajo Ways of LifeNavajo Way of Life
Kathleen E. St.Cyr
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 Fort Sumner in eastern New Mexico and years of being treated horribly they were allowed to return to their homeland. After many years of this they finally got to return to their normal lives of farming, herding sheep, and weaving.
They valued their sheepherding and weaving. This became their way of life. “They found value from the Curro sheep, including fiver for weaving and textiles contributing to the economic well-being, as well as, the material necessities of life.” (“Sheephearding in Native Culture”) They also valued...