Navajo Life

Navajo Life

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The Navajo tribe is the largest Native American group in Arizona. They first descended from the Apaches, who came from the Pueblos, also known as the Anasazi. The Navajo are known for weaving blankets, raising sheep, and generally being a peaceful tribe. Typically, the Navajo tribe was deeply religious, worshiping their common possessions, such as livestock and homes. The Navajo women were primary leaders in society. The typical Navajo's life was a wealth of culture.
The Hogan is the traditional dwelling of the Navajo tribe. It was built of poles, bark, and mud, being approximately twenty-three feet in diameter. The doorway opened to the East, so as to welcome the sun, thus providing light. The Hogan was primarily used to prepare meals, sleep, and for shelter from rain. They were also used for healing ceremonies and burying the dead, if one died in a home. These homes were recognized as a symbol of goodness, resulting in being the main topic of spiritual tales. Today, one can observe ancient Hogans in museums of the Navajo. The traditional Hogan was generally a symbol of family life.
Sheep were especially important in the culture of the Navajo tribe as they make out on a regular basis. These animals provided wool and food. The Navajo mainly raised Churro sheep, which had to be shorn twice a year. Sheep were also connected with religion, as they were the Navajos holiest possession. The sheep of the Navajo tribe provided a variety of essential needs.
The Navajo tribe was particularly famous for weaving blankets. They raised their own materials for weaving such as cotton and sheep, as well as plants for dyeing, like onion and walnuts. As white settlers were traveling through Arizona, they often enjoyed purchasing these blankets. Intricate designs began being woven into the blankets in 1900. By the mid-twentieth century, the Navajo had become world famous for their weaving. The Navajo?s woven blankets were a vital financial resource to their tribe.
Women held a significant role in Navajo society. Females were the primary leaders and owned property. When Navajo men married, they would dwell in the homes of his bride?s family. As women held an influential role in Navajo society, the coming of age at thirteen years old for females was celebrated with great parties, honoring the girl.

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Grandmothers were especially respected in this culture, as they had been providing for the tribe all of their lives. This was the only Native American tribe that held women in high regard. Women were held in utmost respect in the Navajo culture due their responsibility to their tribe.
The religion of the Navajo was quite simple. Their homes and sheep were considered most sacred. Sheep were the holiest of all, primarily due to them being the Navajos largest financial resource. Traditional Navajo tales were recited to children, encouraging their spirituality. The Navajo would devotedly worship their possessions as part of the religious culture.
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