Exploring Navajo Culture from an Anthropological Perspective

2339 WordsJul 26, 201310 Pages
Navajo Culture The Navajos came into the Southwest sometime around the 16th century, they were a small group of hunting and gathering people. We know them as Navajo but they would call themselves Diné, which stood for “The People”. “The Navajo are Athapaskan speakers whose language is similar to that of the Apache” (Arizona Board of Regents). They have a broad culture and were known for the ability to survive and adapt really well, especially to local cultures. There primary mode of subsistence is Pastoralists, they utilize farming as a key mode for living. Looking ahead we will gain in depth more knowledge and understanding about the Navajo culture; what were their beliefs, kinship, social organization and more. The word…show more content…
Dry-paintings were something that singers of each ceremony would execute but they were normally destroyed at the end of each ceremony. Medicine. According to the belief of the Navajo any form illness comes from some type of transgressions against the supernatural. There is certain types of ceremonies that can be performed to treat these types of illness that are caused by the person’s transgressions. Other than ceremonies a lot of times they could use different types of herbs, potions, ointments that a specialist would collect. Death and Afterlife. Most of the time the Navajo were horrified of death, not only death but also those who were dead, very rarely would they even speak of this topic unless absolutely needed. This was such a finicky area of conversation that when someone would pass away they were buried immediately and wouldn’t receive any type of ceremony. Later on those of close kin would observe the person with some sort of small ritual. Unlike most religions the belief of the Navajo on the afterlife was a little different. It varied from person to person but there was no actual concept of punishments or rewards for how you were while living. It seems that the afterworld was not thought of as a happy or desirable place for anyone (Navajo Indians 2013). In Navajo Cultural Constructions of Gender and Sexuality, Wesley Thomas discusses Navajo gender systems,

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