Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Navajo Country

The Navajo Nation encompasses about 25,000 square miles, mostly in Arizona but also extends into Utah and New Mexico.

Most Navajo speak English to some degree, but Navajo is frequently used and for some it is their only language.  Radio stations broadcast in both English and Navajo languages.

Today there are approximately 175,228 people living in Navajo country.  We stayed last night at the visitors center in Window Rock, Az., capitol of the Navajo Nation.

Small herds of sheep, goats, cattle and horses are common here.  This is open range country and herds move freely along and across roads.

Hogans are the traditional homes of the Navajo.  They also serve as places for ceremonies.  They may be eight sided (female) or six sided (male) and are built from whatever material is readily available.

The doorway always faces east to welcome the new day.  Many do not have electricity or running water and most are heated with a central wood-burning stove.

Navajos live in family groups spread throughout the nation.  Small clusters of hogans, trailers and a house or two may signify more than one generation of  a family.

In 1965, Congress made Hubbell Trading Post a national historic site and it continues to be a working trading post today.

You can still buy cowboy coffee, Blue Bird flour, pottery, jewelry and baskets here.

                   Original Navajo rugs and blankets are bought and sold here.

The Hubbell long gun collection represents a continual progression of new and improved gun models.  It contains an evolution of firearms technology from the early smoothbore muzzle-loaders to the famous Winchester rifle.

Traditionally, the male hogan is where ceremonies are held and war plans are made.  It is generally considered a very aggressive place.  The female hogan is where the family stays.  It is filled with love, peace and kindness.

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