The Navajo - Dine
"After we get back to our country it will brighten up again and the Navajo will be as happy
as the land, black clouds will rise and there will be
plenty of rain. Corn will grow in abundance and everything look happy."
Barboncito, Navajo Head Chief
Just north of US. Route 66, chiefly in Arizona and New Mexico, is the Navajo Reservation.
The Navajo are the largest Indian tribe in the Southwest and occupy a reservation greater in area than many independent nations.
Navajo is not their own word for themselves. In their own language they are dine, "The People".
In pre-historic times, perhaps around 1000 a.d., the Navajo and the various Apache groups came down from
the north. The People have such a tradition.
When and how the Apaches and Navajo arrived in the Southwest are still a matter of
The first known reference to the Navajo in a European document is in the report
of aFranciscan missionary in 1626.
A few years later Friat Benavides, another Franciscan, wrote
a more extended description. By this time The People were already agriculturalists.
No longer were they a migratory people, dependent on hunting and on the gathering of
wild plants, seeds, nuts, and fruits.
A this time there was no mention of Navajo weaving or hearding of sheep. But, by the
mid-1700's, when English speaking Americans had their first dealings with The People,
the Navajos were herders and weavers as well as farmers.
Today Navajo weaving and silver work are famous around the world.
Navajo Stories and Legends