Many of the Dine ceremonies, including the Yebeichai (Night chantway), Enemy Way (Squaw Dance) and Fire Dance (Mountain chantway), ceremonies, last several days and require them to build special structures away from their homes.
Many Navajo children like to go hunting and fishing with their fathers. In the past, Indian kids had more chores and less time to play in their daily lives, just like colonial children. But they did have dolls, toys, and games to play. Navajo children liked to run footraces, play archery games, and ride horses.
Blessingway, central ceremony of a complex system of Navajo healing ceremonies known as sings, or chants, that are designed to restore equilibrium to the cosmos. Anthropologists have grouped these ceremonies into six major divisions: the Blessingways, Holyways, Lifeways, Evilways, War Ceremonials, and Gameways.
The Navajo are known for their woven rugs and blankets. They first learned to weave cotton from the Pueblo peoples. When they started to raise sheep they switched to wool. For this reason they were often called Chief’s Blankets.
The Navajo traditionally farmed squash, corn and beans and hunted animals such as deer and prairie dogs. Corn is a staple Navajo food and is eaten fresh, ground or dried. Other popular corn- and wheat-based foods include frybread, hominy, blue bread, roast corn and wheat sprouts.
The interrelatedness of the universe is recognized by religious ceremonies and prayer offerings. Navajo people view the earth as a spiritual mother, with family comprising a network of Holy People and livestock as well as human relatives.
In Navajo, yatahey, pronounced / yah -ah-Teh/, is a common greeting. It literally translates to ”all is good’.
1. Manuelito “Little Manuel,” 1818-1894. Manuelito is probably the best-known Navajo for the role he played in ensuring the continued existence of the Navajo people. Born in the Folded Arms People, or Bit’ahni, Manuelito was unknown until he became the headman of his group.
The Navajos used bows and arrows, spears, clubs, tomahawks, knives and sticks among their tools and weapons. Beyond these, they also used bolas and blowguns. The Navajos employed the use of several tools and weapons: Bows and arrows were used by Native Americans to defend themselves, and sometimes for fishing.
Color has many symbolic meanings in Navajo culture; in fact, a single color can mean several different things depending on the context in which it is used. Four colors in particular black, white, blue, and yellow have important connections to Navajo cultural and spiritual beliefs.
The hogan is a sacred home for the Diné ( Navajo ) people who practice traditional religion. The Navajos used to make their houses, called hogans, of wooden poles, tree bark and mud. The doorway of each hogan opened to the east so they could get the morning sun as well as good blessings.
Known to its speakers as Diné, Navajo is an Athabaskan language spoken by 150,000 people. Although Navajo is the most-spoken Native American language in the U.S., it is rarely spoken outside of the Navajo reservation.
The Navajo and the Apache are closely related tribes, descended from a single group that scholars believe migrated from Canada. When the hunter-gatherer ancestors of the Navajo and Apache migrated south, they brought their language and nomadic lifestyle with them.
Scouts from Ute, Zuni and Hopi tribes, traditional enemies of the Navajo reinforced Carson’s command.
The four original clans of the Navajo people are Kinyaa’áanii (The Towering House clan ), Honágháahnii (One-walks-around clan ), Tódich’ii’nii (Bitter Water clan ) and Hashtł’ishnii (Mud clan ).