Sunday, February 19, 2012
This week I have chosen to study the Navajo tribe via the site http://navajopeople.org/ . The reason as to why I chose the Navajo is due to their obvious relevance in today’s society, for example through the aspect of fashion, with many styles and colours originating from their tribes. The website itself offers a range of jewellery with natural earthy tones and pottery. Or through their size, ‘Now the largest Indian reservation in the United States, comprising as it does nearly ten million acres, or nearly fifteen thousand square miles.’
The site is dedicated to keeping alive the cultures, traditions and beliefs of the ‘Dine’, (pronounced deenay) a term used by the Navajo people due to them not actually liking Navajo. The Navajo were given the name Ni’hookaa Diyan Diné by their creators. It means "Holy Earth People". Navajos today simply call themselves "Diné", meaning "The People". The Tewa Indians were the first to call them Navahu, which means "the large area of cultivated land".
The website also offers information on the history, art, language, culture and legends; however it further offers a commercial aspect what with selling the mentioned jewellery, pottery, sand paintings, clothing and rugs.
I found the section on language was particularly amusing, a few examples out of the many offered, being;
Thank you. Ah-sheh'heh.
All right. Luh.
No good. Doh'yah ah-shon'dah.
I don't know. Ho'lah.
Road or trail. Ah-teen'.
Automobile. Chih'dih. (Chug-chug.)
House. Hogan. Hoh-rahn'.
When. (Past time.) Hah-tahne.'
When. (Future time.) Hah-gho'.
How much? Doh quih'?
The part of which most interested me was the legends of the Navajo tribes, what they present as being the ‘birth’ of the tribes initially one might scorn, however it does not much differ to that of Christianity and the ‘immaculate conception.’