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Navajo Marriage

navajocodetalkersadmin on January 10, 2018 - 10:00 am in Navajo Rituals

In the Navajo culture, marriage is very sacred. While the family traditions have shifted with the assimilation and modernization of their tribes and American culture, there is still a significant unique quality about their marriages. For the most part, it’s important to understand several of the basic critical traits that their relationships typically held sacred.

Views on Marriage

Marriage for most Navajos was of economic necessity. Because they relied on the basic two-person unit to have a functioning future, it is very critical that their arranged marriages were between multiple parties that were economically sound on both ends. For one, it was incumbent upon the man to handle most of the “heavy lifting” in terms of what a man is supposed to bring to the table. Aside from that, but it was critical that the Navajo man is understanding of what it takes to make things work for the long haul. For this reason, most of the marriages were pre-arranged and done to ensure that the two kin groups being married would be able to sustain their relationship for many decades.

Reasons for Marriage

Navajos always married for practical purposes and to sustain the tribe. Getting married out of pure love and affection honestly secondary for them. In the past, it also wasn’t uncommon for Navajos to have multiple wives, but much of that has changed due to more recent legislation and law. But for the most part, most Navajo relationships were one man, one woman.


As far as divorce was concerned, it was a rarity, but it did happen on occasions. But for the most part, the Navajo relationship was, again, to preserve and advance the culture forward. It was very important because this was a communal culture. While the culture was very communal and emphasized togetherness, for the most part, it was all about sticking together in the individual family units. They lived in structures called hogans, which were their typical housing structure. This is where the families lived and spent most of their family time together. This was an important part of their bonding because, for the Navajo, the community was vital to sustaining everything. Aside from that, but it was very common for a lot of these family units that were associated with one another to commonly engage in other sorts of issues. But by just knowing a few of them, most crises could be averted for the long haul and is a testament to the strength of the Navajo tribe.

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