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Navajo Tools

navajocodetalkersadmin on April 3, 2019 - 10:00 am in Navajo History

The Navajo Nation is widely known for their artistic crafts and creativity. Numerous craftspeople create beautiful silver jewelry, rugs, and patterned blankets as a primary source of income for themselves. Across the generations, the hunters and gathers would also use tools and weapons to help them practice their art, while farmers worked the soil in specific ways thanks to their ingenuity as well.

Tools of the Hunters and Warriors

As with many of the tribal communities that existed in the United States before European colonies began to appear, the hunters and warriors of the Navajo Nation were well-skilled in the art of using arrows and spears to complete their work. Bows were used to defend territory or find food, complemented by the use of stone arrowheads that could be attached to spears as well as to the arrows they used.

The Navajo Nation would also create axes, saws, and knives from stone items as well.

Tools of the Farmer

The Navajo farmers would often use rakes and hoes as a way to prepare their fields each season for maximum yields. Soil in the southwestern areas of the United States is often dense below the surface, requiring it to be broken up for enough water to seep through while promoting root establishment. Corn, beans, and squash grow well in this area, especially when the tools were used to aid in irrigation practices as they were developed.

Tools of the Artisan

Many of the blankets, rugs, and jewelry crafts that are made in the Navajo Nation historically were from the skills and talents of women. They would use drop spindles to turn fleece into yarn. Then they would use looms to help with the weaving process to create the beautiful patterns that we still see today.

The jewelry makers would use hammers and blacksmithing techniques to forge silver items into their desired shapes.

Pottery-making is another popular activity in this culture, although in the past this work was usually completed by hand. Modern potters will use a wheel to craft the items that they want to make, from mugs to plates to vases, much like those who do not have tribal culture as part of their ancestry.

These Navajo tools helped to forge a great society. Now they are used to help community members stay in touch with their roots while providing for the future.

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