Navajo Wedding Ceromony
Navajo wedding ceremony conveys the traditions of Navajo heritage to the next generation. Some elements of the ceremony are modified from the historical ceremony to accommodate modern conveniences and sensibilities. The wedding is not just to bring man and woman together mentally and physically but also spiritually.
In the Navajo way, a gift is typically supplied in advance to the healer who will perform the ceremony. Traditionally, this gift takes the form of a woven blanket, animal hides, or other items the healer could use in his profession. Which show that the Navajo is not all about money in which many Americans tend to be. The Navajo healer takes pride in his profession and hope to be respected as well.
In a Navajo wedding to originally begin the ceremony, the groom and his family and friends traditionally enter a Hogan (a traditional home of the Navajo people) and sit on the west side facing the east. Yes, the Navajo wedding is full of tradition and culture, though some things have changed to adapt to the new “era”, they still remain very cultural. One of the first steps that an intended groom had to take was to receive permission to marry from the woman’s family. This was essential, and often permission must also have been granted by the priest or healer.
In this ceremony, the couple takes seven steps clockwise around a sacred fire. The groom will take the first step, stop, and recite a vow. The bride will follow and do as the groom had done. This ritual continues to take place as they both complete the seven steps. There are also some instances in which the bride and groom will exchange small gifts that are symbolic of their love and life together. For instance, if they were to give corn this will be a symbol that stands for fertility. If a feathers were to be giving this would be a representation loyalty, and then you could also give stones that would symbolize strength. As the bride and groom take their symbolic walk, the guests join hands forming a circle around them and the fire.
The Navajo weddings are sacred and make a bond that is intended to last forever. Divorces were seldom and to many unheard of. Once the Navajo wedding began, so did forever. By going through with the ritual you are now bonded forever. Marriage for them was seen as a life venture, as it should be.