Southwestern United States: The Navajo
The Navajo are very proud people, with a great deal of history behind them. Existing for thousands of years, the exact time of their arrival to the Southwestern United States is still argued among archaeologists and Navajo historians. All that can be agreed upon is that the Navajo have occupied this region since at least the early 1600s. Having been through a great many intrusions and wars, these great people have remained consistent and thriving, able to constantly provide for themselves and their families. It has been said that the Navajo originally migrated from western Canada, belonging to an American Indian tribe known as the Athabasca. Some settled in northern Arizona, and became part
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Over the years, the Navajo have not changed their beliefs or their culture as times have changed. Although they have updated some of their healing and their medicines, their choices still remain the same. The Navajo have moved many times across the Southwestern United States, but they still remain intact. These people are currently recognized as the oldest Native American tribe still in existence (Linford, 2000). Although they have been forced from their homes several times, they were still able to find refuge, and create a new home elsewhere. The Navajo use pastoralism as their main form of subsistence (Weisiger & Cronon, 2011). This is a strategy of herding animals, like goats, sheep, and cattle. They depend on animals for their survival. The Navajo began this practice early in the eighteenth century. They were forced to migrate with the seasons in order to accommodate their livestock (Weisiger & Cronon, 2011). In addition to herding these animals for food, the Navajo also use them for fur, leather, and wool needed for clothes and other things for survival. They have always harvested their own vegetables, and have had to seasonally migrate in order to plant and harvest their grown food as well (Geib, 2011).
The Navajo people put a great deal of value in family. They participate together in many ceremonies, such as “rain dances” to restore harmony and value to nature. Corn is the main produce used by the Navajo, for both subsistence as