The Navajos were a well-known Native American tribe that strived and survived in the Wild West for hundreds of years. They were an aggressive, intelligent, and tactical group, popular for their skilled and effective combat against colonizers which allowed them to keep their land and resources. Having thrived for hundreds of years, the Navajos were able to develop their own lifestyle and culture making them a unique and distinct people throughout the course of history.
The Navajo Lifestyle
Men were seen as the stronger between the sexes, and were mostly in charge of defending the land and hunting. For majority of the day, men would be out of the settlements in search of new resources and game that they could bring back to their camp for whatever purposes their society needed. Women were in charge of taking care of children, livestock, crops, and household responsibilities. Much of their time was dedicated to food management and preparation, as well as shaving livestock like sheep in order to make more clothes for the men and children.
The Navajo Lifestyle for Children
The younger members of the Navajo tribe were raised to fulfill the same duties and obligations that the adults performed. The kids, once they were big enough, were taken on hunting trips with older males where they could learn the different skills, techniques, and tactics their elders used to catch game. The young girls of the tribe were left at the settlement with the mothers where they would learn how to make clothes, care for animals, and cook their traditional Navajo meals.
Despite the emphasis on responsibilities however, the Navajo people understood that it was important for children to engage in play and socialize with other smaller members of the tribe. Mothers would make small dolls and toys for the children which they could play with alongside other kids in the group. Close to half of the day was spent in play, but for bigger kids, play would be limited as parents found it important to start them young on responsibilities.
Navajo Settlements, Food, and Shelter
Much of the food they prepared made use of corn, beans, and squash as main ingredients. Meat was limited to deer, antelope, and small game like rabbits. The Navajo women were particularly skilled at growing herbs which they used to add flavour to their meals. Their homes were called hogans, which were strong small structures with wooden frames that were reinforced with packed clay, creating a dome shape with its door always facing the east.