Cultural Heritage of the Navajo
The Navajo reservation, created in 1868, is by far the largest reservation in the United States, with over 15 million acres of land, and a human population of over 148,000. The Diné, as they call themselves, have been remarkably successful at preserving their unique culture, despite an increasing shift toward Anglo-American lifestyles. It is estimated that approximately 80% of the population speaks the Navajo language (Navajo (Dine) (more info) ).
The Navajo originated from northwest Canada and Alaska around the 15th century, and many of their traditions have survived through time. Their arts, including weaving, basket making, pottery making, and jewelry making continue to be passed on to daughters and granddaughters. Many Navajo children raised on the reservation continue to herd sheep and livestock. The Diné believe they are sustained as a nation because of their enduring faith in the Great Spirit. Because of their strong spirituality, the Navajo people believe they will continue to survive as an Indian nation forever (Explore the Navajo Nation).
Investigate the Culture of the Navajo
Resources related to culture of the Navajo
- Explore the Navajo Nation. This site describes the culture of the Navajo Nation. Users can explore several aspects of the Navajo culture including Navajo people, history, land, cultural events, and their government. Descriptions include links to artwork and photographs depicting different aspects of the Navajo culture. ( This site may be offline. )
- Navajo (Dine). This website consists of a fact sheet that provides a brief account of the ancient and modern history the Navajo peoples. The text discusses the Navajo transition from nomadic hunting and gathering people in the early Spanish period to the sheep herding, blanket-weaving peoples of the nineteenth century. Links within the text lead to a glossary of terms and additional information about the history and cultural heritage of the Navajo peoples. (more info)
- Navajo Country. This map of the Navajo Nation illustrates settlements, landforms, water features, parks, forests, and neighboring Indian reservations. The map index provides links to additional information about some of these features. (more info)
- Navajo Nation. This site is an informational website about Navajo culture. Information includes the meaning of the Navajo flag, the origin of the Navajo people, the four worlds of the Navajo, the significance of the four directions (north, south, east, west) to the Navajo, language, family and culture. Users may also follow links to information on other Native American cultures, an ancient civilization index, and an alphabetical list of all files in the Crystalinks website. (more info)
- Navajo Timeline. This searchable timeline describes Navajo history from 1200 BC through the year 2002. Throughout the timeline, historical events of the Navajo are described and paired with world history. Useful links to topics concerning the Navajo can be found in the later periods within the timeline. Users can search the timeline using a pull-down menu of time periods. (more info)
- The Native American Nations of the Black Mesa Region. This website consists of a series of fact sheets that discuss the ancient and modern history of the Anasazi, Hopi, Navajo, and neighboring peoples of the Four Corners region. Extensive text provides a wealth of information about the cultures and environment of the Southwestern Colorado Plateau, including a brief legal history of oil, gas, coal and mineral mining on Hopi lands. The site also provides an annotated reading list and links to additional information about the Black Mesa region and the surrounding Four Corners area of the Navajo and Hopi reservations. ( This site is likely no longer available. )