My Father – Navajo Language Lesson

My Father - Shizhéé

My Father – Shizhéé

My Father
My father is tall.
He is strong.He is brave.
He hunts and he rides and he sings.
He coaxes the corn and the squash plants to grow out of the sand-dry earth.

Shizhéé nineez. ‘Ayóigo bidziil.
Dóó doo náldzid da.
Naalzheeh, dóó liinabigké dóó ni’t’a
Bizaadk’ehgo naada´a´ dóó na’na’aghízíbit’aa t’áá hóóltsaiigi hadahiniséh

My father has magic in his fingertips.
He can turn flat pieces of silver into things of beauty.
Sometimes I hide in the wide folds of my mother’s skirts and look out at my father.

Shizhé’é bila’ biláatahdóó ‘álíí hólo´.
‘Eí beesh ligaii táadoo le’é danizhóníyígíí ‘ádeile’.
Lahda shimá bitl’aakal bighi’ nínádísht’iihgo shizhé’e nesh’ii leh.

Little Herder In Autumn
by Ann Clark
United States Department Of The Interior
Illustrated By Hoke Denetsosie

Little Herder – Navajo Language Lessons

Story Telling – Navajo Language Lesson
Build a Fire – Navajo Language Lesson
Little Lambs – Navajo Language Lesson
Field – Navajo Language Lesson
The Waterhole – Navajo Language Lesson
The Puppy – Navajo Language Lesson
Sheep Corral – Navajo Language Lesson
Possessions – Navajo Language Lesson
Breakfast – Little Herder Story
The Sing – Navajo Language Lesson
Going To The Sing – Navajo Language Lesson
Sleep – Navajo Language Lesson
Supper – Navajo Language Lesson
Father Comes Back – Navajo Language Lesson
Shoveling Snow – Navajo Language Lesson
The Dogs are Hungry – Navajo Language Lesson
There Is No Food – Navajo Story

More Navajo language links:

Double Concho belt by Jay J. Livingston

Double Concho belt by Jay J. Livingston

Belt 42” Silver with Corral
Jewelry 1st Place – Nizhoni Fine Arts Competition
Navajo National Fair 2012

Navajo Jewelry and Silversmiths

Among the Navajo Indians there are many smiths, who sometimes forge iron and brass, but who work chiefly in silver. When and how the art of working metals was introduced among them I have not been able to determine; but there are many reasons for supposing that they have long possessed it; many believe that they are not indebted to the Europeans for it. Doubtless the tools obtained from American and Mexican traders have influenced their art.

Portrait of Navajo Silversmith Bai-De-Schluch-A-Ichin (Slender Silversmith) in Native Dress with Silver Necklaces, Concho Belts, Tools and Army Saddle Bag 1883 - Creator: Wittick, George BenPortrait of Navajo Silversmith Bai-De-Schluch-A-Ichin (Slender Silversmith)
in Native Dress with Silver Necklaces, Concho Belts, Tools and Army Saddle Bag
1883 – Creator: Wittick, George Ben

Old white residents of the Navajo country tell me that the art has improved greatly within their recollection; that the ornaments made fifteen years ago do not compare favorably with those made at the present time; and they attribute this change largely to the recent introduction of fine files and emery-paper. At the time of the Conquest the so-called civilized tribes of Mexico had attained considerable skill in the working of metal, and it has been inferred that in the same period the sedentary tribes of New Mexico also wrought at the forge. From either of these sources the first smiths among the Navajos may have learned their trade; but those who have seen the beautiful gold ornaments made by the rude Indians of British Columbia and Alaska, many of whom are allied in language to the Navajos, may doubt that the latter derived their art from a people higher in culture than themselves.

The appliances and processes of the smith are much the same among the Navajos as among the Pueblo Indians. But the Pueblo artisan, living in a spacious house, builds a permanent forge on a frame at such a height that he can work standing, while his less fortunate Navajo confrere  dwelling in a low hut or shelter, which he may abandon any day, constructs a temporary forge on the ground in the manner hereafter described. Notwithstanding the greater disadvantages under which the latter labors, the ornaments made by his hand are generally conceded to be equal or even superior to those made by the Pueblo Indian.

A large majority of these savage smiths make only such simple articles as buttons, rosettes, and bracelets; those who make the more elaborate articles, such as powder-chargers, round beads , tobacco cases, belts, and bridle ornaments are few. Tobacco cases, made in the shape of an army canteen, such as that represented in , are made by only three or four men in the tribe, and the design is of very recent origin.

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