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Navajo Indian Culture and Traditions

Navajo Burial Customs and Fear of the Dead

❶It is also used to make many traditional food dishes such as the corn cake made for the ceremony when young girls come of age. The four directions are represented by four colors:

Navajo Beliefs

Navajo Death Rituals
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A Navajo Legend About Death

The Medicine man is the holder of truth about the Navajo way of life. Through his mouth, principles of goodness and prosperity are taught to the people. Thus, he is a man of great significance, not just because he is a healer or has knowledge of herbal medicine, but because he preserves the traditions and beliefs of the Navajo.

When a medicine man is called to perform a "sing", or healing ceremony, he comes not only prepared to heal but to tell the story of the people and their beginning from the first world to their emergence into the fourth world. This is the time when he will answer questions about life and anything that has to do with man's existence on earth. He will tell the young and remind the old that the harmony of one's life and the universe and the order of all things is very important to the well-being of the individual.

He is a man who has spent many years and hours learning ceremonial procedures, yet he never learns more than three of these in his lifetime. He must learn songs and prayers, none of the wording of which can be missed; he must learn many different types of herbs for his healing; he must, through many trips into different areas of the country, obtain the necessary items for his sacred medicine bag; he must purify himself by many hours of contemplation in the sweat hut; he must then have faith in the Great Spirit and in himself that he will be able to heal.

Through his faith the ill one has in him, he is able to render the service of healing. The medicine man is well paid for his services. Some who are healed pay a large sum in cash plus as many as five sheep, and blankets. Before money was available, medicine men used to be paid with livestock, turquoise, and rugs. Rodeos are always a favorite in Navajo country.

If your plans include the Parade, or any aspect of the fair on Saturday morning, a bit of preparation will go a long way towards an enjoyable morning.

First and foremost, get to Window Rock very, very early. Michaels, Arizona fills quickly with thousands of spectators anticipating all the fun and excitement of the morning.

Comfortable chairs, water, snacks, and an umbrella rain or sun are all recommendations for a great parade watching experience. Did anyone say food? Navajo Indians subsisted by hunting and gathering, but, supplemented this by raiding first, other tribes, and later, European settlers for the food and items they needed.

This is also true of other Native American tribes. Navajo Indians consider the land to be their mother, and that they are the extension of "Mother Earth. Window Rock on the Navajo Indian Reservation. Four hundred Navajo Indians were trained as "code talkers" to encode, transmit and decode secret military transmittals, which they learned to do within 20 seconds. They became part of the U. The Japanese were never able to break the code!

Navajo History and Culture. A new treaty was signed giving the Navajo a reservation in the Chuska mountains. Soon, the Navajo made their way back over the trail of their original "Long Walk," to begin a new life and vowing never again make war with the U. Sheep Herding would become a new way of life for the Navajo Indian. They do not wear clothing during this process, they only wear their moccasins.

Before starting the process, they smear ash all over their bodies. It is thought that the ash will protect them from evil spirits. Before burial, the body is thoroughly washed and dressed. It was believed that if the burial was not handled in the proper fashion, the person's spirit would return to his or her former home.

Two other men dig the grave while the body is being prepared for burial. The funeral is held as soon as possible; more than likely it will be held the next day.

These four men are the only ones present at the burial. The deceased person's belongings are loaded onto a horse and brought to the grave site, led by one of the four mourners. Two others carry the body on their shoulders to the area. The fourth man warns those he meets en route that they may want to stay away from the area. Once the body is interned, great care is taken to ensure that no footprints are left behind. The tools used to dig the grave are destroyed.

Indigenous People of North America - Navajo

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The Navajo Culture and traditions are centuries old and continue to be passed down to each new generation of men and women.

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People of the Legends Indigenous People of North America - Navajo Culture and Customs - Beliefs The Holy People. The Navajo believe there are two groups of people: earth people and Holy People – spirit beings that we can’t see.

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Navajo Beliefs By Ray Baldwin Lewis The Navajo people, the Diné, passed through three different worlds before emerging into this world, The Fourth World, or Glittering World. The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. Traditional Beliefs. Rain Thunder storms represent the male rain. The female rain, on the other hand, is gentle, with a soothing effect. In Navajo belief, there is a male and female to .

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Navajo Culture - The Navajo are people very geared toward family life and events that surround their lifestyle. Many games and traditions have emerged from their love of the land and their attachment to it. Long winter nights and the seclusion of the reservation has brought about most of the customs and activities used by the People to entertain and amuse themselves. Navajo - Religion and Expressive Culture Religious Beliefs. Navajo gods and other supernatural powers are many and varied. Most important among them are a group of anthropomorphic deities, and especially Changing Woman or Spider Woman, the consort of the Sun God, and her twin sons, the Monster Slayers.