Louva Dahozy – Navajo Broadcaster

Navajo Oral History

This documentary film was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2015. It contains stories Louva Dahozy of Fort Defiance, Arizona, told the students during several hours of interviews about her life.

Louva conducted most of her interview in the Navajo language, English subtitles are provided.

This documentary film is archived at the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Nation Library, Winona State University Library, and Diné College Library, and will be archived at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The film is part of the Navajo Oral History project, a multi-year collaboration between the Winona State University Mass Communication Department and Diné College – The official Tribal College of the Navajo Nation

Louva Dahozy - Navajo Broadcaster

Photos by Tom Grier,  Winona State University

In 1994, the  University of Arizona College of Agriculture awarded Louva McCabe Dahozy its Lifetime Award.

Louva McCabe Dahozy has blended her interest in helping others with her Navajo religious and cultural values. She was born of the Haskaahaszoi clan and for the Kinyaanii clan. In 1994, the College of Agriculture awarded her its Lifetime Award.

While living in Parker, she worked with Cooperative Extension, assisting local communities in home economics.

When Louva returned to the Navajo reservation, she organized 4-H clubs, teaching hundreds about livestock, home economics, and cultural awareness. She established the first Navajo Homemakers radio program, which was broadcast in the Navajo language on eight stations for ten years.

Louva, with help from Cooperative Extension, helped begin the North America Indian Women’s Association; she was elected first national chairwoman. This group directly sought funding from Congress to help solve local problems.

In addition, Louva was a founder of the National Indian Council on Aging and helped organize Navajo Nation Council on Aging. She developed the first Navajo Illustrated Cookbook, using commodity and native foods. She was the motivating force behind a native foods analysis that proved they had a high nutritional value.

Asked about her lifelong work, Louva says, “I wanted to provide education for Navajo people, education that includes traditional and modern ways so that people might have better home

Source: University of Arizona College of Agriculture

Louva Dahozy in Kitchen

The Mexicans and the Navajo

Mexicans and  Navajo History 1821 – 1848

Mexico declared independence from Spain.
Treaty of Cordova between Spain and Mexico dated August 24, 1821, and in the Mexican Declaration of Independence, proclaimed September 28, 1821. The capital was kept in of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 Santa Fe New Mexico 1848

Painting of the Mexican capital in  Santa Fe New Mexico 1846


The Mexicans became the bitterest enemies of the Navajo. The former were the mixed-blood descendants of the Spanish and the Indians. Spanish and American accounts report with horror the slaughter by Mexicans of Navajo who came peacefully to trade, or the slaughter of innocent Mexican traders by the Navajo. No matter what the case, a war of reprisal was necessary–either to steal what had been left behind, or to avenge murder.

The Mexicans were forced to abandon several cities because of the Navajo attacks; and generally it was conceded that the Navajo were better warriors than the Mexicans. Eaton (1854), an American officer, sorely maintained that the Navajo were not good warriors, but that they seemed so because the Mexicans were cowards. The Mexicans called the Navajo their slaves, and scornfully declared that they furnished them (the Mexicans) with good weavers, whom they could sell to the Spanish at a high price. The Navajo stole the Mexicans’ sheep, but refrained from completely annihilating the enemy because, so they said, they wished to leave a few as shepherds to raise more flocks for the Dene.

The Navajo stole hundreds of slaves from the Mexicans and the native tribes. In turn they also lost some of their tribesmen to Mexican raiders. Intelligent and industrious Navajo women who knew how to weave were highly prized. A beautiful and healthy girl of eight was sold for as high as $400 worth of horses and goods. Poor people frequently sold orphans or their own children for a horse or an ox. It was once estimated that there were from 2000 to 3000 Navajo working as slaves in Spanish or American families (Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Report of 1867:325 ff.). Children born to the Navajo women who were Spanish slaves had the rights of citizens and free men.

The Navajo treated their slaves well, although there was no hesitation in killing them when ritual duties required the sacrifice. Two slaves were given the duty of preparing and burying a corpse, after which they were killed on the grave. Slaves were sometimes adopted into a family; they married Navajo, and their descendants might form a new clan. That “slave” clans existed, the Navajo admit, but no one will acknowledge that his clan was founded by captives. (Reichard, 1928:15; Ethnologic Dictionary, 1910:424).

1846 June 21 – The “Army of the West” consisting of 1648 men and commanded by Colonel Stephen Watts Kearny, was mobilized of regulars and volunteers at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and departed that place on this date for Santa Fe where, in a bloodless coup, New Mexico, then in possession of Mexico, came under the dominion of the United States. Included in the army were Colonel Alexander William Doniphan and Major Edward Vose Sumner, figures later prominent in the destiny of the Navajos.
Aug 15 – At Las Vegas, Kearny addressed the populace from one of the housetops, saying, in part: “ … I have come amongst you by orders of my government, to take possession of your country, … Henceforth I absolve you from all allegiance to the Mexican government, and from all obedience to General Armijo. He is no longer your Governor; … I am your Governor …

Aug 18 – Kearny and his Army of the West entered Santa Fe at 6 p.m., occupying the capital of New Mexico without “ … firing a gun or shedding a drop of blood”

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
The peace treaty signed in 1848 in Guadalupe Hidalgo between the U.S. and Mexico that ended the Mexican–American War .
It gave the United States the Rio Grande boundary for Texas, and gave the U.S. ownership of California, and a large area comprising New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado.

The Spanish and the Navajo

History of the Spanish and the Navajo

The first account in history of the Spaniards arrival in the Southwest dates back to 1540 when Coronado and his expedition came in search of gold and riches. Unsuccessful, they returned to Spain empty handed.


The Spaniards succeeding visit to the Southwest had other intentions. They wanted to resettle, indoctrinate and civilize the Indians by converting them to Catholicism. Through their efforts they wanted to teach the Indians a better way of life.

The Spaniards did, indeed, meet one objective. They took the best farm lands and resettled in Indian territory. Their second objective failed. Although Missions were established and Indians did attend services, they were not converted to Catholicism. The third objective was met to an extent. The Indians absorbed the Spanish culture and. used it to their,advantage, but they did not let the Spaniards influence their beliefs and philosophy of life.

Spanish and the Navajo

When the Spaniards arrived in the Southwest, they brought with them domestic animals such as cows, horses, and sheep. They also brought with them guns and tools, which were all new to the Indians.

The presence and depredations of the Spaniards were to totally change the world of the Navajos. Within ten years after the arrival of the Spanish colonists in 1598 the Navajos had obtained sheep, cattle and horses from pueblo Indians who escaped from the Spaniards, taking the cattle, horses and sheep they were tending with them, and sought refuge among the Navajos.

The first impression the Indian had of the Spaniards was ‘that they were Gods.
Later, their impression changed dramatically when the Spaniards settled on their best farm lands and left their families homeless, and used Indians as slaves and servants. Those who served as slaves learned many of the Spani~h ways.
They learned how to build’ adobe homes using molds . They learned to grind wheat to make bread, as well as how to ride horses and care for domestic animals. At the same time the Spaniards learned from the Indians. They were introduced to foods made from corn and corn meal.

This went on for many years and the Indians grew weary. They resented the Spanish invaders. They wanted them out of their territory. They no longer wanted any part of them. So in 1680, all the Indian tribes acted together to drive the Spaniards out; and this they did.

After 1700 the Spanish found the Navajo to be an ever growing scourge because of their raids and alliances. The tribe always managed to be at peace with some tribes, while it fought and raided others. They feared only the Utes, who had learned war in the Plains area. Once the Plains tribes acquired the horse, they developed Indian warfare into an art. The annual efforts of the Spanish to break up alliances and outwit the Navajo are reported in the letters of the Spanish governor de Anza, 1777-87. (Thomas, 1932). These efforts were fruitlessly continued until, in 1846, the United States relieved the Spanish of the Southwest and their Navajo problem.

By the end of the 1700’s the Navajos had drifted farther west into the Canyon de Chelly area. New settlements were established. By 1776, the region lying between the Rio Grande Pueblos and the Hopi village was known to the Spaniards as “Providence of the Navajos” and a new way of life for the Navajos began.

By this time, the Navajos had acquired thousands of sheep and horses they were more mobile and they could farm to a greater extent and their tribe was growing in number.

In 1800, Antonio Pinto died. He was a Navajo leader who was Instrumental to some extent in keeping the peace between the Spaniards and Navajo. After his death the Navajos relied heavily on raiding the villages of New Mexico for sheep and horses. The Spaniards raided for the purpose of acquiring captives as laborers and household, servants, and by this time hundreds of Navajo women and children were living in Spanish homes as servants.

Hostilities grew deeper and deeper and the Navajos rebelled by not only raiding the Spanish settlements, but other Indian tribe settlements as well. The other Indian tribes appealed to the Spaniards for help and in 1818 a treaty was signed by one band of Navajos·whom the Spaniards had defeated once before.

The Treaty failed because once again there was no one leader for all the Navajo clans. Raiding continued for several more years. The Navajo way of life was greatly influenced by the Spaniards during this period.

Navajos remained free from all military, political, and ecclesiastical control. They continued to acquire items of Spanish material culture through their systematic harassment of the settled Spanish and Pueblo villages but their social and political organization remained unchanged.

More about Navajo History:


Navajo Long Walk to Bosque Redondo

The procession from Fort defiance in Navajo land to Fort Sumner 300 miles away, began on March 6, 1864, with 2400 Navajos.

They had walked every mile of the way enduring the freezing temperatures hunger and other scornful jeers of the soldiers as well as death that accompanied them as they traveled.

Navajo Women and Men at Fort Defiance

Navajo Women and Men at Fort Defiance 1873 – National Archives

Every step they took send them for they traveled farther and farther away from their beautiful homeland. A homeland that was no longer theirs.
They cross the Rio Grande River on to unfamiliar surroundings where the mountains in the canyons in the beautiful rock formation like those they were accustomed to seeing in their country were nonexistent.

The Navajos were be willed or at this and it only made them feel the great loss of their beautiful homeland even deeper. During their journey to their cruel destination at Fort Sumner 197 Navajos lost their lives.

Indian captives at Issue House, Bosque Redondo Era, Fort Sumner, New Mexico-001

Indian captives at Issue House, Bosque Redondo Era, Fort Sumner, New Mexico

On March 20 of the same year 800 more Navajos began the same long journey to Fort Sumner, leaving their beloved homeland behind. Most of them women, old men and children suffered the severe snowstorms the freezing temperatures in the hunger.

On this and succeeding journeys many Navajos parodist of cold hunger and illness.

Eventually 8000 Navajos arrived and were captives at Fort Sumner.

 Counting Navajos at Bosque Redondo

Counting Navajos at Bosque Redondo

The US government had hoped that in a new home far from the enemies the Navajos could give up their belligerent ways and could begin a new way of life as farmers. The government also had high hopes of educating the Navajo people.

Few preliminary plans were made by the US government to initiate their goals. There was much disorganization and uncertainty in knowing what to do with the Navajos. Once they arrived at Fort Sumner.

Many unforeseen problems developed. There are not enough tents, blankets or food to go around. Many Navajos had to dig small holes in the ground and had to look for what ever materials they could find to build roof over a whole used as a protection.

The area around Fort Sumner was desolate dry and flat and it had little water or natural resources. Navajo men had to walk 12 to 15 miles just to find where they needed for cooking and heat. Drought, rodents and poor irrigation systems contributed to the loss of crop.

Although the government issued rations and other supplies these were not enough many Navajos were freezing and starving to death. After the short time the Navajos became weary, distraught and felt hopeless. They were sure evil spirits were causing their misfortune. Medicine men refused to hold ceremonies.

Maneulito family at Bosque Redondo,Fort Sumner

Maneulito family at Bosque Redondo,Fort Sumner

They felt that the gods of Navajo land were far were too far away to hear them. The Navajos were just living from one day to the next. Not sure of the future destination. They lived this way for several years suffering hardships and bad luck became their way. The US government also grew weary for their supplies were dwindling. There was little food, water and less wood for cooking and heat.

Initial goals for the Navajos had dissolved. Their only concern at this point was to keep the Navajos alive on the bare necessities. They could give them. The idea for relocating the Navajos proved to be a poor one. A resolution had to be made.

After months calculation he discussed it among the US officers at Fort Sumner, a decision was made. The Navajos would be sent to Oklahoma. Their water would and good farmland was plentiful.

When the Navajos for of the plan they were very angry. They did not want to be sent away again. They wanted to go back home. Home to their beautiful lands. Home to their sacred gods who they could watch over them.

The US government took the Navajos feelings into consideration. They knew that if they force the Navajos to relocate again it would only open doors to more problems. Navajos would remain on the reservation by force and not by choice.

Once again the US officers consulted and discussed how to resolve the matter. After some time they had made a decision. The Navajos would be sent to their native homeland only if they agreed to keep the peace with their neighbors and not to oppose the building of the railroad.

They would have to send their children ages 6 to 16 to schools. The Americans in return would give the Navajos back the land described in the treaty along with tools and see small cash payments and stock. They also promised to protect the novel holes from the white and Indian enemies.
Reluctant at first to promise to conform to the white man rules the Navajos eventually agreed.

Navajo Treaty Singers

Treaties were signed by all the Navajo leaders on June 1, 1868.

The Navajos began their long journey homeward. However unlike the first journey they made this time there was joy, hope, anticipation and excitement in their hearts for this time there were going home.

In mid-June, a 10 mile caravan rolled away from Fort Sumner. The summer walk was very much different from the winter marches for and a half years before.

By the time the joyful Navajos reads Fort defiance their native homeland was a desert with no signs of likelihood. Despite all the terrible hardships of the 300 mile removal and the hard life at Fort summer the Navajos had arrived. Their way of life their religion and the Navajo traditions had not changed much during therefore not half years stay at Fort Sumner.

This question of their way of life would be an issue in years to come. White Americans would use the treaty to force the novel to Navajo children into classrooms where they would be taught to live the white American way. The Navajos would resist the change. The Navajos did not gain a sense of unity from their experiences at Fort Sumner. The tribe now shared a few things in common; an ugly memory of a difficult time the joy of returning home and a deep belief that they should now keep what was their.

Source:  We Shall Remain: Utah Indian Curriculum Guide


Betatakin, Arizona(Navajo Site) Video


Title: Betatakin, Arizona (Navajo site)
Creator: Fritz Lang
Subject: Motion picture
Description: 16 millimeter motion picture reel, filmed by Fritz Lang as he toured the Southwest of the United States, 1938-1953
Publisher: University of Wyoming. American Heritage Center
Date Original: 1938-circa 1940s
Time: 8 minutes, 16 seconds

Navajo People Website Links:
Navajo CultureNavajo HistoryNavajo ArtNavajo Clothing Navajo PicturesNavajo RugsNavajo LanguageNavajo JewelryNavajo Code TalkerNavajo PotteryNavajo LegendsHogan’sSand PaintingNavajo Food Navajo NewsNavajo Nation

Navajo Educator and Leader Lettie Nave (Video)

This documentary film contains stories Lettie Nave (Navajo) of Tsaile, Arizona, told the students during several hours of interviews about her life.

It was researched, photographed, edited and produced by students of Winona State University (Winona, Minnesota) and Diné College (Tsaile, Arizona, Navajo Nation) during summer 2010.

This film is archived at the Navajo Nation Museum, Navajo Nation Library, Winona State University Library, and Diné College Library, and will be archived at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

The film is part of the Navajo Oral History project, a multi-year collaboration between the Winona State University Mass Communication Department and Diné College– The official Tribal College of the Navajo Nation.


Navajo People Website Links:
Navajo CultureNavajo HistoryNavajo ArtNavajo Clothing Navajo PicturesNavajo RugsNavajo LanguageNavajo JewelryNavajo Code TalkerNavajo PotteryNavajo LegendsHogan’sSand PaintingNavajo Food Navajo NewsNavajo Nation

Navajo Women and Men at Fort Defiance 1873

View of Native American (Navajo) women and men at Fort Defiance, Arizona.

Navajo Women and Men at Fort Defiance 1873


People sit on the ground or on horseback, or stand beside an adobe wall and a timber wall. People are beneath a shaded stone shelter with vigas. Woven blankets and burlap sacks are on the ground. Rocky hills are in the distance.

Creator(s) O’Sullivan, Timothy H., 1840-1882.

Date: 1873

Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian (U.S.)

First Contact with the Navajo – 1540

In 1493, the year after the discovery of the New World, Pope Alexander VI issued his famous Bull of Demarcation, in which Spanish explorers be gave to Spain all the undiscovered country of the Southwest lying beyond an imaginary line one hundred miles west of the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands. Upon this Spain based her claims to the New World.

Coronado Expedition Map

Coronado Expedition Map

Not until 1513 did European explorers venture into the interior of North America. Previous to this time they had merely touched upon the shores of the great western continent. The great beyond appeared to them dark, void, and impenetrable. Balboa in that year crossed the Isthmus of Panama, and six years later Cortez landed on the east coast of Mexico.
Don Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Spanish Explorer, leads an expedition of soldiers from Mexico into the American southwest in search of gold. They arrive and discover the Hopis during the summer of 1540, where Navajos were already in the Hopi province.

Francisco Coronado

Francisco Coronado

The first recorded contact between Navajos and the Spanish invaders came in 1583 in the area of Dinetah.

An expedition led by Antonio de Espejo refers to the Querechos Indians near Mt. Taylor. The Spanish also at times referred to Navajos as “Apaches de Navajo,” leading to some confusion for future historians.

During this time and up to the recent past, Navajos were referred to as Apaches. At the time of the conquest, the word “Apache”, from the Zuñi “apachú” (enemy), their appellation for the Navajo, was used by the Spaniards to denote any hostile Indians.
Then the Spaniards named the Apache bands according to their traits or locale:

Mescalero, for the mescale gatherers, several tribes for the closest mountain,

“Apache de Jicarilla” for their baskets,

and the “Apache de Navaju” which they borrowed from the Tewa word – “Navaju” meaning “the arroyo with the cultivated fields.

The Navajo name for Spaniard is Nakai, meaning “those who wander around,” referring to the various expeditions that frequently came into Navajo country.
That the Navajos consider themselves the aristocrats of the southwest they tactily admit by calling themselves “Diné,” the People.

A Native American (Navajo) Family

A Native American (Navajo) Family

They are of Athapascan stock, and ethnologists are generally agreed that they came from the north, drifting into the area they now occupy less than a thousand years ago. In earliest historical times they were found wandering over what is now western New Mexico, eastern Arizona, and southern Utah and Colorado. Their present reservation, while much smaller than their original range, is in the same region.

Navajo legends in general bear out the supposition that they came from the north, except one very picturesque one which tells that the People came from the south, bringing their four sacred plants: tobacco, corn, squash, and beans.

Navajo Camp

Navajo Camp

They occupied all the country, but, finding the Pueblo people better fitted for agriculture, they generously gave them the valley lands and kept the high grassy uplands for themselves.

This legend has the great advantage of justifying the Navajo habit of appropriating the crops raised by the Pueblo people.

The Navajo also appropriated women when it suited him to do so, with the result that his race is probably a compound of all the southwestern Indian stocks, with accretions of Spanish blood, whatever racial amalgam the Spaniards had acquired in Mexico, and later additions from the American Army and American traders. What was most vigorous, most alluring, most enduring of all races the Navajo has apparently taken and made his own.

History of the Navajo

Ancient Navajo and Native Americans Migrations
First Contact with the Navajo – 1540
The Americans and the Navajo
The Mexicans and the Navajo
The Spanish and the Navajo
Navajo Long Walk to Bosque Redondo
Antonio el Pinto Chief of the Navajos

Ancient Navajo and Native Americans Migrations

This is the story of the Diné, The People, as the Navajos call themselves and there migration to Dinétah.

Dinétah is the traditional homeland of the Navajo tribe of Native Americans. In the Navajo language, the word “Dinétah” means “among the people”.

The Navajo, are the largest Native American group in North America.

The Navajos say they came from the north and archaeologists bear them out. From Bering Strait to the shores of Hudson Bay and from the Arctic Ocean to the American line, the native inhabitants are chiefly Athabascans.

Then down the coast of the Pacific, near the coast but seldom on it, little tribes of Athabascan stock mark the trail of a great southern migration which may or may not have brought the ancestors of the Navajos.

‘The earliest inhabitants of America were hunters who migrated from the Asian mainland across the Bering Straits land bridge between 40,000 and 25,000 B.C.E. ‘ (European Voyages of Exploration: Latin America University of Calgary The Applied History Research Group)

Routes if Ancient Americas Migrations

That a land bridge between Asia and North America existed during the last ice age is strongly supported by geological evidence. Ocean water locked up in glacial ice lowered sea levels to the point where a corridor up to 1600km or more wide existed between Siberia and Alaska.

“Long before Euro-Americans entered the Great Basin, substantial numbers of people lived within the present boundaries of Utah. Archaeological reconstructions suggest human habitation stretching back some 12,000 years. The earliest known inhabitants were members of what has been termed the Desert Archaic Culture–nomadic hunter-gatherers with developed basketry, flaked-stem stone tools, and implements of wood and bone. They inhabited the region between 10,000 B.C. and A.D. 400.

These peoples moved in extended family units, hunting small game and gathering the periodically abundant seeds and roots in a slightly more cool and moist Great Basin environment.

About A.D. 400, the Fremont Culture began to emerge in northern and eastern Utah out of this Desert tradition. The Fremont peoples retained many Desert hunting-gathering characteristics yet also incorporated a maize-bean-squash horticultural component by A.D. 800-900. They lived in masonry structures and made sophisticated basketry, pottery, and clay figurines for ceremonial purposes. Intrusive Numic peoples displaced or absorbed the Fremont sometime after A.D. 1000.

Beginning in A.D. 400, the Anasazi, with their Basketmaker Pueblo Culture traditions, moved into southeastern Utah from south of the Colorado River. Like the Fremont to the north the Anasazi (a Navajo word meaning “the ancient ones”) were relatively sedentary peoples who had developed a maize-bean-squash-based agriculture.

The Anasazi built rectangular masonry dwellings and large apartment complexes that were tucked into cliff faces or situated on valley floors like the structures at Grand Gulch and Hovenweep National Monument. They constructed pithouse granaries, made coiled and twined basketry, clay figurines, and a fine gray-black pottery. The Anasazi prospered until A.D. 1200-1400 when climactic changes, crop failures, and the intrusion of Numic hunter-gatherers forced a southward migration and reintegration with the Pueblo peoples of Arizona and New Mexico.”

ddd Archaeologists believe the indigenous peoples that eventually populated the Americas occurred in three separate migrations.The largest of these groups is referred to as the Amerind (Paleo-Indians). The Amerind, which includes most Native Americans south of the Canadian border, commenced around 11,500 B.C..A second migration called the Na-Dene occurred between 10,000 B.C. and 8, 000 B.C.. Even though at this point the Bering Sea separated Siberia and Alaska, it was only three miles wide in some places.

The Athapascan speaking populations of Canada and the United States belong to this group of migrants. The Apache and Navajo in the southwestern United States are from the Athapascan migrants.

The third migration around 3,000 B.C. included the Aleuts and Eskimos of Alaska, Canada, and the Aleutian Islands (Taylor).

According to modern belief The Navajos are descended from that great race which produced Genghis Khan and conquered in his lifetime half the world. While the victorious Mongols were driving relentlessly west and south, making kings and emperors their vassals, some small fragments of their clans were crossing Bering Sea, probably on the ice, and gradually overrunning North America.

Navajo men

Photography by Dane Coolidge NAVAJO TYPES Above: Hosteen Yazzi, Short Man, showing Pueblo influence (left); Hosteen Nez, Tall Man (right). Below: Kia ahni Nez, Tall Kia abni (left); Hosteen Tso, Big Man (right).

There are, many significant facts which, to the student of literature at least, prove an Asiatic origin.The Venetian traveler, Marco Polo, who visited the Court of Kublai Khan in 1275, gives some very interesting accounts of the Mongols,At a later date the French Jesuit, M. Hue, describes the wild tribes of the Grasslands. We have thus a picture of the social life of the Mongols with which to make comparisons.
Both authors agree that among the primitive Mongols the women attended to all the trading.They bought and sold and provided every necessity for their husbands and families: ‘The time of the men,’ as Marco Polo says, ‘being entirely devoted to hunting, hawking, and matters that relate to military life.’

The same is true among the Navajos to-day, as far as the women are concerned.

“Wherever they went — until the white people subdued them — the Dineh’ like the Mongols, were raiders and spoilers. The mystery of the vanished Cliff-Dwellers is a mystery no longer when we know the nature of the warriors who came among them. The Zuñis told Cushing that twenty-two different tribes had been wiped out by the Enemy People, as they called them; and the walled-up doors of proud Pueblo Bonito testify mutely to the fears of its inhabitants.” (Dane Coolidge 1930)


Photograph by Dane Coolidge NAVAJOS WRESTLING, KAYENTA, 1913


Photograph from the Central Asiatic Expeditious of the American Museum of Natural History MONGOLS WRESTLING

History of the Navajo

Ancient Navajo and Native Americans Migrations
First Contact with the Navajo – 1540
The Americans and the Navajo
The Mexicans and the Navajo
The Spanish and the Navajo
Navajo Long Walk to Bosque Redondo
Antonio el Pinto Chief of the Navajos

Navajo sheepherder with Navajo-Churro sheep about 1920

The Navajo-Churro, or Churro for short, was the very first breed of domesticated sheep in the New World and dates back to the 16th century where it was used to feed and clothe the armies of the conquistadors and Spanish settlers.

Navajo sheepherder with sheep

Navajo sheepherder with Churro sheep

Although secondary to the Merino, the Churra (later corrupted to “Churro” by American frontiersmen) was prized by the Spanish for its remarkable hardiness, adaptability and fecundity.