Let it be known here and now that I know NOTHING about the Navajo Indians, and nothing about the Holy Land of the People (Dinétah). The following web pages are a collection of some of my travels within a tiny fraction of the Navajo Reservation. Any opinions I have made here in these pages are therefore subject to prompt and total correction by Diné and by those knowledgable of the Diné and Dinétah.
#1: American "Indians" as groups prefer being called by their actual tribal names. There
are hundreds of different American Indian tribes, many with vastly different cultures. It
is not just insulting to think of all American Indians as "The Indians:" it is also damn
stupid. There is no such thing as "The Indian Culture" or "The Indian _________" (fill in the blank).
Rather, there is "The Navajo Culture," "The Pipa a'ha macave Culture," "The Moabi Culture,"
"The Shoshone Culture," and a hundred others.
#2: If you must call them something (such as when writing a letter or a magazine article or whatever) and do not know the actual tribe of a specific individual or a specific group, call them "American Indian." The phrase "Native American" should not be used because it applies to everyone born on the American continents (not just the American Indians). The phrase "Indigenous Peoples" also is absurd, as humans did not evolve in the Americas (indeed, I think calling someone "Indigenous" is insulting).
#3: Native American tribes came to occupy their territories at different times, and indeed from different source locations. Diné and Apache, for example, came from the western Canada / Alaska area some time around the year +900 GC (Gregorian Calendar). Many tribes came into an area and pushed out the residents; others came to areas that had once been occupied but were no longer occupied when they arrived; still others came to areas that had never been occupied.
#4: Humans have occupied North America for at least 25,000 years. These people were probably not, genetically speaking, the same as what we now know as American Indian. These people are known as Folsum Man, Clovis Man, and others. Folsum man appeared in North America some 8,000 years before the American Indians; Clovis Man came before Folsum. American Indians are from a later migration from EuroAsia. [caveat: recall my disclaimer above!]
|Rugs||Before around +1,880 GC (Gregorian Calendar), Diné women made blankets for trade with other Indians and with the Americans ("white" people). A few of the latter people set up trading posts in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado to buy and sell goods. These traders [specifically Hubbell] suggested to the Diné that quality rugs would bring a much higher price than the blankets the Diné were making: and the rug industry, as an art form, was started.|
|Hogans||Here are two types of Navajo hogans. The third type (the traditional type, made of dirt) I did not encounter: they are still found around Monument Valley and Navajo Valley, but I did not visit that area. (Dinétah is HUGE!)|
|Canyon de Chelly||Here are a few images of the canyon: I photographed only a tiny fraction of the canyon, from the South Rim. If I ever go back I will photograph from the canyon floor and from the North Rim. ("Chelly" is pronounced "Shay.")|
|Window Rock||Window Rock is the seat of Diné government. Here are images of the Navajo War Memorial and two of the government buildings.|
|Other Navajo Stuff||Other images.|