Navajo, also spelled Navaho, second most populous of all Native American peoples in the United States, with some 300,000 individuals in the early 21st century, most of them living in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
The Native American Navajo tribe is one of the largest tribes of American Indians. They lived in the Southwest in areas that are today Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
Some settled in southern Arizona and New Mexico and became the different Apache tribes. Apache languages sound very much like Navajo. By the year 1700, Navajos were living in northern Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado and Utah. They gave their land the name of Dinétah.
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. Today, many Navajo families still live in hogans, although trailers or more modern houses are tending to replace them.
Adjacent to or near the Navajo Nation are the Southern Ute of Colorado, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe of Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico, both along the northern borders; the Jicarilla Apache Tribe to the east; the Zuni Pueblo and White Mountain Apache to the south; and the Hualapai Bands in the west.
The Navajo and the Apache are closely related tribes, descended from a single group that scholars believe migrated from Canada. Both Navajo and Apache languages belong to a language family called “Athabaskan,” which is also spoken by native peoples in Alaska and west-central Canada.
The Navajo Indians in Utah reside on a reservation of more than 1,155,000 acres in the southeastern corner of the state. According to the 1990 census, more than half of the population of San Juan County is comprised of Navajo people, the majority of whom live south of the San Juan River.
The Navajo today have four reservations; the largest one surrounds the Hopi Pueblo reservation in Arizona. The other three are in New Mexico. About 190,000 Navajo live in the United States, with 146,000 on reservations. The Navajo reservations are on the high Colordo plateau.
The peoples who spoke Iroquoian languages occupied a continuous territory around Lakes Ontario, Huron, and Erie in present-day New York state and Pennsylvania (U.S.) and southern Ontario and Quebec (Canada).
The Navajo Nation claims approximately 298,000 enrolled members; it is the second largest tribe in population; over 173,000 Navajos live on the reservation. The population has increased 3.5 times from the 50,000 people who resided on the reservation in 1940.
The Cherokee were Iroquoian speakers while, for example, the Navajo speak a dialect of the Athabaskan language. Several distinct Indian languages are represented in North America, including Algonquin and Siouan and many others.
The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. The Holy People are believed to have the power to aid or harm the Earth People. Since Earth People of the Diné are an integral part of the universe, they must do everything they can to maintain harmony or balance on Mother Earth.
Navajo language, North American Indian language of the Athabascan family, spoken by the Navajo people of Arizona and New Mexico and closely related to Apache. Navajo is a tone language, meaning that pitch helps distinguish words. Nouns are either animate or inanimate.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
List of unrecognized groups claiming to be American Indian tribes
Private-property owners who meet zoning requirements can get a permit and start construction. But on trust lands, Navajos may apply only for long-term housing leases. Those wanting a home must get approval from officials at local Chapter Houses — there are 110 across the reservation — and the tribal Land Department.