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The Dinetah. “Among the People”, the Dinetah , is the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners area. Much of the Four Corners area is known as Dinetah , the ancestral homeland of the Navajos. The tribe's traditional creation story centers on the area.

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“Among the People”, the Dinetah, is the Navajo reservation in the Four Corners area.

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Much of the Four Corners area is known as Dinetah, the ancestral homeland of the Navajos. The tribe's traditional creation story centers on the area.

  • "The Dinetah essentially is the emergence place of the Navajo," said Ron Maldonado, program manager of the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department.
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In the geographical sense, Dinétah encompasses a large area of northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona. The exact boundaries are unclear, and are generally marked by mountain peaks which correspond to the four cardinal directions.

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Traditional Navajo boundaries of the Dinetah are:

  • Mount Blanca (Tsisnaasjini' - Dawn or White Shell Mountain) -Sacred Mountain of the East
  • Mount Taylor (Tsoodzil - Blue Bead or Turquoise Mountain) -Sacred Mountain of the South
  • San Francisco Peaks (Doko'oosliid - Abalone Shell Mountain) -Sacred Mountain of the West
  • Mount Hesperus (DibéNitsaa -Big Mountain Sheep) - Obsidian Mountain- Sacred Mountain of the North
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The arrival of the first Navajo settlers has not been dated, but they may have been living in such a favorable spot as early as 1400.

Traditional Navajo Hogan

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The hogan (pronounced Hougan) is considered sacred to the Navajo. The religious song "The Blessingway" describes the first hogan as being built by Coyote with help from beavers to be a house for First Man. The Beaver People gave Coyote logs and instructions on how to build the first hogan.

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Navajos made their hogans in this fashion until the 1900s, when they started to make them in hexagonal and octagonal shapes. The change in shape may have been due to the arrival of railroads. A supply of wooden cross-ties, which could be laid horizontally to form walls of a larger, taller home, allowed the retention of the hogan shape but with more interior room. The doorways of the hogans always face east.

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"Now I walk in beauty, beauty is before me, beauty is behind me, above and below me." Navajo Prayer Song

Barrel cactus in bloom in the Dinetah.