Navajo Facts For Kids
The Navajo Nation is located at what is known as “Four Corners” because their lands are situated where Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado meet geographically. They are the one of the largest tribes of Native Americans that live in the United States. The name “Navajo” is a name given to this group by the Spanish who settled in nearby areas. They were called the “Apaches of Navajo,” but the tribe calls themselves the “Díne,” which means “the People” in their native language.
What is the Navajo Native Language Called?
The language spoken by over 170,000 is called “Díne bizaad.” There are more speakers of this language than there are speakers of any other Native American language north of the U.S.-Mexican border.
What is the Name of Navajo Houses?
Some Navajo still live in traditional homes that are called hogans. They have a domed roof and the houses are wood framed with walls made from clay. The door of a hogan always faces east so the residents can see the sunrise.
Where is the Capital of the Navajo Nation?
The capital city of the Navajo nation is located in Window Rock, Arizona.
What did the Navajo Eat?
Along with hunting deer, rabbits and mountain goats, the Navajo raised crops or went out looking for wild foods. They raised corn, squash and beans and, while the men hunted for meat, the women of the tribe went looking for wild berries, yucca blades from the Yucca cactus and seeds. The Navajo also raised goats and sheep to use for meat, milk and to spin clothing from wool.
The Navajo are known around the world for their beautifully woven baskets, woven wool rugs and blankets. The Pueblo tribe first taught the Navajo to weave rugs and blankets from cotton, but when they started raising sheep, they switched to wool. While the women wove blankets and rugs, men usually made jewelry from silver and/or turquoise. These crafts are still popular today and are sold in gift shops on their lands.
The Long Walks
Starting in 1864, the Navajo people were forced to leave their home and march from their lands in Arizona to a camp in New Mexico. As many as 9,000 people occupied a small area of land called Bosque Redondo. There were a total of 53 marches and about 200 to 300 people died on the 18-day treks through the desert.