|Navajo||The Navajo are a Native American people of the Southwestern United States. The Navajos are speakers of Southern Athabaskan language they call Diné bizaad The term Navajo comes from Spanish missionaries and historians who referred to the Pueblo Indians through this term, although they referred to themselves as the Diné, meaning ‘the people’. The language comprises two geographic, mutually intelligible dialects. The Apache language is closely related to the Navajo language; the Navajos and Apaches are believed to have migrated from northwestern Canada and eastern Alaska, where the majority of Athabaskan speakers reside. Speakers of various other Athabaskan languages located in Canada may still comprehend the Navajo language despite the geographic and linguistic deviation of the languages. Additionally, some Navajos speak Navajo Sign Language, which is either a dialect or daughter of Plains Sign Talk. Some also speak Plains Sign Talk itself. Until contact with the Pueblo and the Spanish peoples, the Navajos were largely hunters and gatherers. |
The Hogan is a sacred home for the Diné (Navajo) people who practice traditional religion. Every family even if they live most of the time in a newer home — must have the traditional Hogan for ceremonies, and to keep themselves in balance. The Navajos used to make their houses, called Hogans, of wooden poles, tree bark and mud. The doorway of each Hogan opened to the east so they could get the morning sun as well as good blessings.