The People

Most Navajo people call themselves Diné, which in their own language mean "the People". The word "Navajo" comes from the Pueblo word "Navahu". This word means "planters of huge field". Why do you think the Pueblo used this word to name the Navajo people?

The Navajo is the largest nation in the United States and the Navajo reservation is the largest reservation.

How did early Navajo people live?

The early Navajo people hunted birds, squirrels and rabbits. They also gathered wild nuts, grass seeds and cactus fruits to eat. Eventually, they learned farming, pottery and weaving from the Pueblos and silversmithing from the Mexicans.

After the Spanish brought horses and other livestock, the Navajo became shepards, tending flocks of goats and sheep.

How do the Navajo people live today?

Today, many Navajo live in the traditional way. They are shepards. Others have modern careers such as doctors, lawyers and teachers. Even so, they still hold many of the sacred beliefs of their elders.

 

Click on the map to see a bigger picture


More to Learn about the Navajo People:

To hear the Dine language, go to the Greyhills Academy

For a written sample of the Navajo language (beware it is a long download!)