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Navajo Teepee

navajocodetalkersadmin on June 13, 2014 - 7:39 pm in Navajo Rituals

The Navajo people were in the past a nomadic tribe. During summer, these tribes live in brush shelters referred to as Navajo Teepee and during winter season, they practically lived in earth-covered lodges. People living in Navajo hunted antelope, elk and deer, farmed beans and corn and gathered wild vegetables and other resources. During early 17th century, the introduction of sheep was observed after the Spanish conquered their nation. Raising sheep superseded farming and hunting. Hence, these tribes and clans have become a pastoral people. Navajo tribes and clans have truly adopted lots of arts from their neighbors from the Pueblo; weaving from the Mexicans; and metalworking. Their traditional legacy is through their mother’s line and they live in extended relationship groups. Indeed, women have a significant and observed position in their society.

Navajo Tradition

Moreover, the traditional Navajo religion is complex and elaborate with numerous songs, deities, prayers and chants and even lots of ceremonies. The common ceremony includes the night chant and the enemy way ceremony or also called as the Squaw Dance. The enormous belief system of these people relies on the creation of stories and legends that states that Esdzanadikhi created humanity and Navajo Spider Woman created the universe. They are also subscribed to the peyote cult. In the late 1930s, the eroded and overgrazed grasslands of the Navajo nation caused the US government to reduce the nation’s cattle, horses and sheep by as much as fifty percent.

Why Tee Pees

The federal government, having left the Navajo tribe without any means of resources and support, had began proposing programs of irrigation, letting them to turn to agriculture as their livelihood. However, farming can support only a fraction of the Navajo. Thus, many residents need to achieve their income off the reservation. The discovery of oil, gas, coal and other mineral resources has helped Navajo people to increase their tribal income. The Navajo has their traditional homes called Navajo Teepee or Hogans. It merely comes in a wide range of styles, techniques and processes in building Navajo Teepees widely vary, though its basic form is very much similar with regular Hogans. Since Navajo people have been desert dwellers for many centuries, at least some Navajo Teepees are low structures build over depths, dug into the earth for keeping the interior cool and some Hogans have log walls. Thus, the basics of Navajo Teepee are not hard to build, though it will require patience and 2 people.

Navajo teepees were the traditional homes of Great Plains nomadic tribes. A Navajo teepee was build using some long poles as its frame. These poles were knotted together at the top and spread out having an inverted cone shape. Then, the exterior is covered with a huge wrapping made of buffalo hide. Whenever a tribe arrives at a new spot, a woman of each family will soon set up and build the Navajo teepee. It only takes 30 minutes to set it up. During winter season, additional insulation and coverings like grass are used for keeping them warm. On its center, a fire will be built and there is a center hole at the top for exhaust.

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