Navajo Facts

Navajo Facts
The Navajo are the second largest federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States. The Navajo are also known as the Dine, semi-nomadic Native American Indians from the Southwest United States. The Navajo live in their traditional territory which includes Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. There are roughly 300,000 Navajo today, with roughly three-quarters of the population living in Arizona and New Mexico. The Navajo reservation covers approximately 27,000 square miles in these Four Corners states. The Navajo were traditionally hunters and gatherers, but learned crop farming from the Pueblo people. Roughly half of the Navajo still speak their native language, while most Navajo also speak English.
Interesting Navajo Facts:
The Navajo originally lived in hogans, which were cone-shaped buildings made of wooden poles and tree bark and clay.
The Navajo positioned their doors to face the east as they believe this positioning brings good blessings.
Navajo clothing was originally made of deer hide. As they learned weaving and knitting clothes were also made of cloth and wool.
The Navajo were well-known as fierce warriors.
In the 1860s the Navajo were forced to walk over 300 miles, by the Americans, as settlers and military took over their native lands. Approximately 200 Navajo died on what is now referred to as 'The Long Walk'.
The Navajo were allowed to return to their homeland when their chief Manuelito signed a treaty with the government.
Manuelito is credited with being one of the most notable Navajo chiefs for negotiating with the U.S. government for return of the Navajo land, as well as farming tools, clothing allowance, and schooling.
Traditionally the Navajo men were hunters, leaders, and warriors. Women farmed, gathered, tended to the livestock, did most of the cooking, and raised the children.
The Navajo tended to travel on foot. Until the Europeans brought horses the Navajo used dogs and sleds to transport goods.
The Navajo hunted for small game, antelope, and deer. When the Spanish arrived they brought goats and sheep and the Navajo began to raise livestock.
The Navajo today are well-known for their artwork, rug weaving, pottery, and turquoise and silver jewelry.
The Navajo did not wear headdresses. Instead the men wore headbands, and men and women both wore their hair in a type of bun called a tsiyeel.
The Navajo men began to cut their hair to shoulder length in the early 1900s as they began to adopt Pueblo styles.
The Navajo did not wear face or body paint except during some religious ceremonies.
Many Navajo still wear moccasins, but they wear more modern clothing like jeans rather than breechcloths.
Chester Nez was a Navajo code talker. He served in the Second World War with the United States Marine Corp, and was the last original Navajo code talker. The Navajo language is so hard to learn that it served as a secret code during the war.
The first known Navajo silversmith was Atsidi Sani. He lived from 1828 to 1918.
Jacoby Ellsbury is a professional baseball player from the Navajo tribe.

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