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Amy Bates Kathy Buxton Tory Cohn. Gaby Fonseca Diana Kuch Hillary Thomas Alison Viefhaus. Navajo Indians 1850-1930. Study Guide page 1. What is the name of the spiritual force that the Navajo’s believe in? What is viewed as the power of the Almighty?

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Navajo Indians 1850-1930

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Navajo indians 1850 1930 l.jpg

Amy Bates

Kathy Buxton

Tory Cohn

Gaby Fonseca

Diana Kuch

Hillary Thomas

Alison Viefhaus

Navajo Indians1850-1930


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Study Guidepage 1

  • What is the name of the spiritual force that the Navajo’s believe in?

  • What is viewed as the power of the Almighty?

  • When is a Kinaalda held in a Navajo girl’s life?

  • Why is a girls attitude so important during the Kinaalda?

  • What happened to children during the genocidal push on Navajos?

  • What was “The Long Walk”?

  • When was the New Treaty signed, releasing the Navajos?

  • What are two traditional games that Navajo children played?

  • At the age of five, what were Navajo children given by their parents?


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Study Guidepage 2

  • What is the other name that the Navajos are known by?

  • By making the Navajo children learn and speak in only English, what was the main affect on their Native language?

  • What is the name of the first art school founded in 1930 for Native Americans?

  • What were sandpaintings done for?

  • Why was the bear hardly ever killed and eaten in the Navajo culture?

  • What season did Navajo men go on hunting expeditions and why?

  • How old were Navajo boys when they started to hunt?


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?

  • What is the other name that the Navajos are known by?


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Background Information

  • The name Navajo generally meaning “Takers of the field” were given their name by the Tewa people. The Navajo are also referred to as Diné, meaning “The People”.

  • There are different spellings for both of these terms, including Navaho and Dineh.

  • The Navajo belong to the linguistic group known as the Athapaskan.

  • The Navajo Indians are Southwestern Indians located the regions of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.


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?

  • What is the name of the spiritual force that the Navajo’s believe in?

  • What is viewed as the power of the Almighty?


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The Almighty

  • The Navajo Indians believe in the Almighty.

  • The Almighty is a spiritual force that is the source of life.

    • It is not pictured as a man in the sky

    • It is formless and exist in the universe.


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Prayer

  • The Sun

    • Viewed as the power of the Almighty

    • Is not worshiped

    • Is prayed to because it is a symbol of the Almighty.


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Afterlife

  • Navajo Indians do not pay much attention to the afterlife.

  • After death, the soul roams around into a different universe.

  • The soul carries on with everyday activities like he or she used to do when they were alive.

  • Same life—different universe.


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?

  • When is a Kinaalda held in a Navajo girl’s life?

  • Why is a girls attitude so important during the Kinaalda?


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Ceremony of Kinaalda

  • Ceremony for a Navajo girl whose first menstrual cycle has begun.

  • Dramatic four day and night ceremony is held in her honor.

  • She becomes a tribal symbol for fertility

  • There are many rituals connected to the Kinaalda.

  • Most Navajo girls will marry within the year after the Kinaalda ceremony.

  • HAIR BRUSHING Resembles “The Changing Woman” and purification of the young woman.

  • DRESSING in clothing and jewelry that belongs to her family is believed that it will bring her wealth and success.


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  • LIFTING follows the dressing and is believed that the girl will conceive and have babies.

  • MOLDING is done to make the girl beautiful and shapely. This must be done by a woman who has wealth, prosperity, good character, health and strength.

  • RACING is done to improve the leg muscles and to make her body strong, supple and energetic. It is thought that those that run with her will receive great blessings.

  • CORN GRINDING is another very important part of this ceremony. It is possibly the greatest test of the four day, because it is believed that it insures that her future will be strong and industrious. Throughout her Kinaalda the girl is not allowed to eat anything that is not made of corn or she will become lazy, ugly, wrinkled and weak and unable to perform her duties.


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  • ‘ALKAAN is sweetened corn bread that is baked as an offering to the sun. The ‘Alkaan is then cut and everyone is given piece. It is believed that the cake must be shared with everyone or the girl will become a selfish person. It is believed that if the girl eats her own cake that her teeth will fall out, and she will get old right away.

  • BRUSHING AND PAINTING is done after the ‘Alkaan is served. The girls’ hair is brushed again. She is then painted with paint made of white shells and represents “The Changing Woman”.

  • The completion of the Kinaalda is followed by Navajo ceremonial practices of a four day period of ceremonial quiet. Ideally the girl will reflect on the events of the four day ceremony and what has been taught to her. A girls attitude is extremely important during the ceremony because it is believed that their adult personality will be determined by the mannerisms and actions displayed during the Kinaalda.


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?

  • What happened to children during the genocidal push on Navajos?

  • What was “The Long Walk”?

  • When was the new Treaty signed, releasing the Navajos?


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Major Events

  • Early 1850’s

    • Culture clashes reached a violent peak with Hispanic, Navajo, Mescalero, Ute and Anglo peoples all struggling for survival.

    • The first U.S. Army outpost on Navajo territory was built and named Fort Defiance.

  • 1860’s

    • Thousands of Navajo’s attacked Fort Defiance, but failed to dislodge the army.

  • 1860-1868

    • Women and children of the tribes were stolen and sold as slaves.


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Major Events cont.

  • 1862

    • Kit Carleson, under the orders of General James Carleton began a genocidal push against Navajo and Apache.

    • All male Navajos were to surrender or be shot.

    • Those who surrendered were taken to Fort Sumner in Eastern New Mexico.

      • This was known as “The Long Walk” because the trek was 300 miles long.


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Major Events cont.

  • Late 1863- December 1864

    • 8,354 Navajos surrendered.

    • Navajos were quickly transferred across New Mexico Territory. (The Long Walk)

    • The aged, weak, children, and pregnant women who could not keep up were shot.

    • Exposure and dysentery took hundreds of more lives.

    • Final death count was about 3,000 Navajos


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Major Events cont.

  • 1868

    • U.S. admits “failure at civilizing” the Navajo and General Carleton was discharged for tyranny.

  • June 1, 1868

    • A new treaty was signed releasing the Navajo back to the reservation sites although many chose to return to their original homes.


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?

  • Why was the bear hardly ever killed and eaten in the Navajo culture?

  • What season did Navajo men go on hunting expeditions and why?

  • How old were Navajo boys when they started to hunt?


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Making a Living

  • The Navajo economy from the 1600’s to the mid 1900’s depended on agriculture and livestock.

  • During the summer months the Navajo planted corn, beans, and squash on the floodplains and tributaries of the San Juan River, while they raised their sheep, horses, and goats in the mountains.

  • Winter camps were at a lower elevation where they could be more protected from the elements.

  • During this period the expression “making a living” referred to collecting enough food to stay alive.


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Agriculture

  • Beans, corn, and squash were staples to the Navajo people.

  • Any and every kind of seed and root that could be used, was used for something.

  • Planting and cultivating was a family job. The men would start digging holes and or rows, and the women and children would follow behind dropping seeds into the soil and then covering them up.

  • While men were away hunting, women would do their part, by digging up roots or shaking tiny seeds from wild plants.


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Hunting

  • Every man and boy was expected to become a hunter.

  • Boys as young as four were busy setting traps for rats and gophers. It was not until they reached the age of 18 that they were aloud to accompany their tribe on hunting expeditions.

  • Men would be away on hunting expeditions for months at time, mostly in the Autumn season. The Autumn season was the best for hunting because it was this time that the animals were the fattest and could provide the most food and supplies.

  • The meat of the animal was eaten, their teeth were used to make jewelry, their bones were used to make spears and digging and hunting tools, and their fur was used to make blankets and coats.


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The Bear

  • The Navajo killed and ate almost every animal.

  • One of the only exceptions was the Bear. The bear was seen as almost human because it could walk on it’s hind legs and use its paws like a man.

  • The only time a bear was killed was when it’s skin was needed for a ceremony, or when the Navajo people were starving and could find no other food.

  • When the bear was killed, the person killing it spoke to it first to explain why they must be killed and then the bear was prayed for. When it was killed, it was clubbed so no blood would be drawn.


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Harder Times

  • After the Navajo were permitted to return to their homeland after the long walk to Fort Sumner, agriculture was not the same.

  • Because the Navajo were given small pieces of land, overgrazing and soil erosion became problems. This led to the reduction of livestock.

  • This reduction depressed a lot of the Navajo because their wealth was measured in sheep and many were led to slaughter their herds in order to “make a living”.


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?

  • By making the Navajo children learn and speak in only English, what was the main affect on their Native language?


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Education

  • Navajo children were traditionally educated by their parents and fellow tribes people.

  • Their education was started as soon as they could walk and they were treated like adults.

  • The children were taught to act like elders in the tribe. They were taught how to get food, tribal customs, and the history of their people.

  • Children were taught orally.

    • That is how they learned the Athapaskan language.


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  • Indian children were starting to be educated by the Government in this time period. The Indian children were taken off of the reservation and sent to boarding schools. This was done to civilize the children and to teach them English.

  • The schools were to teach the children how to speak, read and write English. They wanted English to replace their Native Language. This lead to the decline of the native language of Indians and of their customs.


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  • In 1903 the government had made plans to build a school near the Navajo Reservation. This received a favorable response from the Navajos because they would no longer lose their children to the boarding schools, which were much further away.

  • The Government agreed to build the facility because they were guaranteed that one hundred students would be enrolled there.

  • The construction started on the facility in 1905 and was open for enrollment on September 1, 1906.


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Carlisle Indian Industrial School

  • One of the boarding schools that Indian children, including Navajo children, were sent to was the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.

  • The school was funded by Richard Pratt in 1879, with the thought of assimilating Indian children by taking them to the boarding school.

  • The children were taught manners, job skills, and how they should dress. School was conducted in military style, where they were given ranks, marched, and performed drills.

  • The students hair was cut on the first day of school and they were given uniforms.


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  • The children learned academics the first half of the day, and trades the second half.

  • During the time period of 1879-1918 the Carlisle schools had a wide variety of students from different tribes including 43 Navajo children.

  • The tradition of the boarding schools forcing assimilation to the boarding schools had started to change by the 1930’s. At this time, they were no longer forcing students to assimilate.


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?

  • What are two traditional games that Navajo children played?

  • At the age of five, what were Navajo children given by their parents?


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Work and Play

  • The Navajo were good and loving parents. They seldom punished their children.

  • However, Navajo children were scarcely spoiled.

  • Children grew up around many relatives from whom they learned practical skills for providing for themselves and they also received instruction in the customs of their people.

  • Once children were old enough, they were expected to help around the Hogan (house), carrying firewood or tending to the sheep.

  • At the age of five, each Navajo child is given a lamb that they are to take care of. The lamb is entirely their responsibility and they must care for all aspects of this lamb.


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String Games

  • Navajo children had few toys so they became quite resourceful in inventing their own games. There were also traditional games that the Navajo children played as well.

  • String games were very prevalent for the Navajo. These string games were played during the winter only because the winter season is when spiders hibernate.

  • It was believed if anyone played a string game outside of the winter season, they would either be struck by lightning, fall off of a horse, or be urinated upon by spiders.

  • There are roughly 75 figures that can be made from these string games, ranging from stars, to birds, to rockets, arrows, and so on.


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The Shoe Game

  • The shoe game is another traditional Navajo game.

  • In this game many shoes are hidden in a box of sand with only the tops of the shoes in view.

  • Children were split into teams and each team was to hide a yucca ball in one of the shoes.

  • The other team guesses which shoe the ball is in. If they are correct, then they get to hide the ball and receive yucca branches which are essentially points.

  • If they guess incorrectly, the team that hid the yucca ball receives yucca branches.

  • Once all of the yucca branches are gone, they are counted up to determine the winning team.


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?

  • What is the name of the first art school founded in 1930 for Native Americans?

  • What were sandpaintings done for?


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Arts and Crafts (general info.)

  • Navajo learned weaving, making cloth, and art from the Pueblo Indians.

  • They used sheep to make clothes, blankets, and rugs. They use natural vegetable dyes still today.

  • Their art uses symbols and signs that represent their ideas, beliefs, dreams, and visions.

  • Turquoise was mined by the southwestern tribes. It is the stone of happiness, health and good fortune.

  • Navajo are known for their silverwork that they learned from the Mexicans.


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Pottery

  • Pottery was made for domestic use for many years.

  • From trading posts, Navajos obtained better utensils made from metal and glass.

  • The necessity of pottery declined as a household good.

  • In 1930 a revival movement of pottery making attracted European and American attention.

  • Young women became disinterested in learning pottery making skills from their mothers.

  • Lucy Leuppe McKelvey is a well-known potter that makes large vessels with geometric designs and life-form figures.

  • Lucy feels pottery making is very personal and has taught her 3 daughters pottery making in order to keep the Navajo tradition alive.


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Rugs

  • All Navajo rugs are considered tapestries due to the tightness of the weave.

  • “Ganado rug is viewed as the classic Navajo rug. It has a bold red background, accented by a central diamond shape with a black, white and gray design of zigzags, geometric patterns and crosses are at the corners.

  • Navajo weaving is predominately created by women and only a few males.

  • Some younger people are learning that art of weaving and others go into other fields.

  • The future of Navajo weaving is unknown.


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Sandpaintings

  • Made on the floor of the hogan (dwelling) by the medicine man (chanter)

  • Considered an important sacred object that depicts a scene of the Holy Ones.

  • Achieved by sprinkling dry sand, colored with natural pigments like ground shell, charcoal, and pollen

  • Used ceremonially to cure a patient from sickness,

  • There are only about 700 medicine men and women today.

  • Not many young people are interested in becoming chanters.

  • As a result, ceremonial sandpaintings are becoming extinct.


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Art Schools

  • 1910-1920

    • White anthropoligists and school teachers commissioned southwest Indians to illustrate traditional culture.

    • Some teachers even encouraged native students to experiment with White artistic media.

    • Native American watercolorists influenced nearby tribes when the experiment continued at the Santa Fe Indian School

  • 1930

    • Founding of “The Studio” the first art school for Native Americans by Dorothy Dunn.

    • Dunn influenced her students to adopt a flat, two dimensional ‘Indian’ style and taught them to use pastels.

    • Two famous Navajo artists from this school are Harrison Begay and Andrew Tsinajinnie.


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The End

Thank you for watching and listening!


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Works Cited


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Amy Bates

  • Allen, T.D. Navahos Have Five Fingers, University of Oklahoma Press: Norman 1963

  • Arizona State University, Fall 2001, http://www.asu.edu/lib/archives/boardingschools.html

  • Carlisle Indian School, http://home.epix.net/~landis/main.html

  • Handbook of North American Indians Vol. 7, Northwest Coast, 1990

  • McPherson, Robert S. The Northern Navajo Frontier 1860-1900: Expansion Through Adversity, University of New Mexico Press, 1988


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Amy Bates cont.

  • Readers Digest, America’s Fascinating Indian Heritage, The Readers Digest Inc. New York, 1978

  • White, John Manchip Everyday Life of the North American Indian, Holmes & Meier Publishers Inc., New York, 1979

  • Yenne, Bill. The Encyclopedia of North American Tribes, Cresent Books, New York. 1986


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Kathy Buxton

  • Bassman, Theda. The Treasures of the Navaho. Arizona: Northland Publishing Company, 1997

  • Feest, Christian. Native Arts of North America. New York: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1992

  • Mather, Christine. Native America; Arts, Traditions, and Celebrations. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1990

  • Roesssel, Ruth. Navajo Arts and Crafts. Handbook of North American Indians. Vol. 10, 1983

  • “Southwest Art”. Art, Pottery, Baskets, & Jewelry. 1/16/2005. http://inkido.indiana.edu/w310work/romac/art.htm


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Tory Cohn

  • Bial, Raymond. The Navajo. Marshall Cowendish Corp. 1999

  • Bonvillain, Nancy. The Navajos. Connecticut: Millbrook Press Inc. 1995

  • Kehoe, Alice B. North American Indians. New Jersey: 1992

  • Roessel, Robert A. Jr. Pictoral History of the Navajo from 1860-1910. Arizona: Navajo Curriculum Center. 1980

  • Wood, Leigh Hope. The Navajo Indians. Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers. 1991


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Gaby Fonseca

  • Doak, Michael. Native American Spirituality. 1997. University of Virginia. 19 Jan. 2005 http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/nrms/naspirit.html

  • Eck, Pam. Religion. 15 April 1998. IUPUI 16 Jan 2005. http://inkidon.indiana.edu/w310work/romac/swrelig.htm

  • Griffin-Pierce, Trudy. Native People of the Southwest. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2000

  • Readers Digest Association. Through Indian Eyes. New York: Phillipine, 1995

  • Sullivan, Lawrence E. Native Religions and Cultures of North America. New York: Continuum International, 2000


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Diana Kuch

  • Coolidge, Dane. Under the Sun: Novel of the Navajo Exile in 1863-69. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1927

  • Coolidge, Dane and Mary. The Navajo Indians. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1930

  • Coolidge, Mary Roberts. The Rainmakers. New Mexico: William Gannon, 1975.

  • Driver, Harold. “Girls’ Puberty Rites in Western North America”. University of California Anthropological Records. VI, No. 2, Culture Element Distributions: XVI (1941) Pp. 21-90

  • Kluckhohn, Clyde and Leighton, Dorothea. The Navaho. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1948

  • Lamphere, Louise. To Run After Them. University of Arizona Press, 1977


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Hillary Thomas

  • Kelley, Klara B. Navajoland:Family Settlement and Land. Tsaile, Arizona: Navajo Community College Press, 1989

  • Levy, Jerrold E. In the Beginning: The Navajo Genesis. University of California Press, 1998

  • Lipps, Oscar H. A Little History of Navajos. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Avanyu Publishing, Inc., 1989

  • Smith, Michael L. http://www.ausbcomp.com/redman/navajo.htm

  • 1998


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Alison Viefhaus

  • Hill, W. W. The Agricultural and Hunting Methods of the Navaho Indians. London: Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1938

  • Iverson, Peter. Diné: A History of the Navajos. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 2002.

  • McPherson, Robert S. Navajo Indians. Utah History Encyclopedia. 26 January 2005. http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/n/NAVAJOINDIANS.html

  • McPherson, Robert S. The Northern Navajo Frontier 1860-1900: Expansion through Adversity. University of New Mexico Press, 1988

  • Underhill, Ruth M. Here Come the Navaho!. United States: Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1953

  • Underhill, Ruth M. The Navajos. University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, 1956


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