"The Navajo (The Dineh)"
The Navajo (The Dineh) American Southwest • Around 1200 BC to 1300 CE a native American cultures spanning the Southwest developed • Towns and villages and roads • Diet of corn, squash and beans - not enough game to support • Pottery and other crafts traded • We call the Anasazi from the Navajo “our enemies” • This culture produced the pueblo Indian cultures that followed • Navajo • Came out Northwest Territories of Canada around 1,400 AD Language • Navajo is an Athabaskan or Na-Dene language. These languages are unlike most of the languages of other Native Americans Martilineal Society • Property is passed through women not men • Man when he marries joins his wife’s family • Women own the property Hogans • Traditional Navajo Dwelling Navajo Reservation History • When they arrived in the Southwest around 1400 CE, they lived by raiding the Pueblo Indians • By 1700 still raiding but building flocks of sheep and horses • Early 1800s Spanish tried to control them • In 1823 when Mexico gained independence, Mexican government left them alone to raid • In 1848 US took New Mexico and Arizona away from Mexico and initially left the Navajo alone • In 1863 US became angry at raids on Americans so they sent Kit Carson to put an end to it • Carson marched 8000 of the Navajo to Bosque Redondo in Northern, New Mexico where they were confined in a few square miles - The Long Walk • Another 8000 hid out in the bad lands to avoid capture • Barboncito fought against relocation to Oklahoma - with help of the Hopi, an agreement was made that if the Navajo stopped raiding they would be returned to part of their homeland Navajo had to learn new ways of making a living • Silver jewelry - skill learned from Mexicans - featuring turquoise • Blanket weaving - learned from Mexicans • Eventually they got it all back - around 300000 Navajo today - second largest Native American tribe on the largest American reservation • Language and culture still very much intact Navajo Language • Tones - high, low, rising, falling • Several sounds like lateral fricative and the cluster of t preceding the lateral fricative which is a but unusual Language • Let’s listen to a language tape • The prefix complex may be subdivided into 11 positions, with some of the positions having even further subdivisions: • disjunct prefixes conjunct prefixes stem • 0 1a 1b 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 • postposition • object "null • postposition" adverbial- • thematic iterative plural direct object deictic adverbial- • thematic mode- • aspect subject classifier stem • Although prefixes are generally found in a specific position, some prefixes change order by the process of metathesis. For example, prefix ʼa- (3i object pronoun) usually occurs before di-, as in • adisbąąs "I'm starting to drive some kind of wheeled vehicle along" [ < ʼa- + di- + sh- + ł + -bąąs]. • However, when ʼa- occurs with the prefixes di- and ni-, the ʼa- metathesizes with di-, leading to an order of di- + ʼa- + ni-, as in • diʼnisbąąs "I'm in the act of driving some vehicle (into something) & getting stuck" [ < di-ʼa-ni-sh-ł-bąąs < ʼa- + di- + ni- + sh- + ł + -bąąs] • instead of the expected adinisbąąs (ʼa-di-ni-sh-ł-bąąs) (note also that ʼa- is reduced to ʼ-). • Although the verb template model of analysis has been traditionally used to describe the Navajo verb, other analyses have been proposed by Athabascanists. Religion • Some Navajos now Christian, some Native American Church, but many maintain the Navajo religion Superstition • Navajo very superstitious • Skinwalker - evil person who can transform to an animal - especially a wolf or coyote • Only evil people are not afraid of the dark • Never sleep on a skin with your head near the animals head on the skin Navajo Justice • Navajo reservation is in a sense an independent country with its own police force • Navajo believe that putting people in jail or prison is senseless • Apology and restitution need to be made and that the “demon” that caused the crime needs to be controlled Some Videos • Scenes from Alanis Morissette: Live in the Navajo Nation • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwRJwAOF pQo • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRk71UQ WjCU&feature=related • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_s4ouhk1 4E&feature=related Navajo Justice • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JqX TlFMeNw&feature=related