5 Year Old Navajo Boy Riding Sheep

Woolly Rider Competition
Navajo National Fair 2012

Miss Navajo Sheep Butchering Contest

Hazel Yazza Frybread Pavilion
(Navajo Nation Fairgrounds)

Miss Navajo Sheep Butchering 1

Contestant #1
Charlene Goodluck
Shiprock Chapter

Contestant #2
Seri Maryboy
Red Mesa Chapter

Contestant #3
Krystal Parkhurst
St. Michaels Chapter

Contestant #4
Leandra Thomas
Steamboat Chapter

Contestant #5
Verrica Livingston
Twin Lakes Chapter

Contestant #6
Brittany Hunt
Shonto Chapter

Contestant #7
Wallitta Begay
Oljato Chapter

Navajo sheepherder and Child in Canyon De Chelly, AZ

Navajo Man and Child in Canyon de Chelly, AZ


Navajo man and child at White House Ruins in Canyon de Chelly. A herd of sheep in the background.

Publisher Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Date Original ca. 1920-1940

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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.