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Navajo Nation At The Grand Canyon

The Navajo are one of the awe-inspiring attractions on a Grand Canyon Day Tour. The Navajo Nation is an ancient American area covering just over 70,000 square kilometers. It occupies some parts of Northeastern Arizona, Southeastern Utah and Northwestern New Mexico in the United States Of America. It is one of the most significant regions retained by a native American people with a community of close to 350,000 people.
 
The Navajo have an extensive history since their establishment in 1868. The Navajo people are believed to be closely related to the Apaches, and both these tribes are believed to have moved from North of Canada where most of the Athabaskan speakers live. This theory can be proved by the fact that most of the Athabaskan speakers living in Canada can understand the Navajo language irrespective of the geographical division.


 
The migration of the Navajo people started in 1400 CE, and the people were believed to be hunters and gatherers before coming into contact with the Spanish and Pueblos. Their relationship with these people exposed them to some new crop farming practices that consisted of growing beans, corn and squash. In addition, they learned about livestock farming from the Spanish and within no time at all; meat was an important part of the Navajo diet. The trade relations between the Navajos and the Spanish continued and resulted in the formation of an alliance that was intended to fight off the Apache and Comanche bands.
 
In the year 1800, Governor Chacon led an expedition against the Navajos, and the Navajo called for peace. Several conflicts between the Spanish and Navajos occurred in the coming years and in 1805, the request for peace was reinforced. Peace talks between the Navajos, Spanish, Apaches, and Hopis continued until the arrival of the Americans in 1846.
 
The first interaction between the Navajos and the Americans appeared in 1846 when an American general attacked the Navajo territory during the American-Mexican War. As time went on, the Navajo chiefs signed several treaties with the American generals that recognized the transfer of jurisdiction of the territory from the United Mexican States to the United States. This arrangement sanctioned for the building of trading forts and other facilities in the Navajo territory. The treaty did not go well with all the groups involved, particularly the Mexicans and several raids followed but after a number of years, the Americans managed to restore calm in the Navajo area.
 
One notable aspect of the Navajo culture are their arts and crafts. The Navajo people are excellent silversmiths, and this ability was introduced to them by the Mexicans and Spaniards during the 19th century. The primary source of silver was from molten American silver dollars. Their art expertises were not limited to silver works as their pottery skills were outstanding as well. The oldest pieces of pottery rfom the Navajo have been recorded back to the early 1500's. After The Long Walk in 1860, the trading posts built allowed Navajo craftsmen to sell their pottery to people outside of the tribe. Ancient Navajo pottery pieces have minimal decorations and what makes them unique is the melted pinon pitch which makes the pieces shiny and water resistant. It is common to find random grey and black markings on the items, and these are referred to as fire clouds which are caused by the direct burning of fuel during heating.

 
 
The other exceptional crafts made by the Navajo tribe are wedding baskets. These baskets are a significant part of their ceremonies. Today, people from all over the world seek them for their beautiful style and qualities.
 

 
Navajo rug weaving abilities are highly recognized across the globe, and this is owed to the uniqueness of the style. The rugs are a beauty to the eye, and this skill-set is believed to have been originated from a woman called "The Spiderwoman", who made a loom according to the directions given to her by the Holy Ones. Today, the Navajo art of making rugs has been diversified and the pieces available are genuinely breathtaking.
 
Navajo Rug
 
The final component of Navajo art that was used for ceremonial functions is the method of sand painting. The paintings represent a wide range of ceremonies and holy songs. This skill has been transformed today, and sand paintings are being used in several images for public consumption.
 
A Grand Canyon Day Tour is the best way to experience the area and The Navajo Nation. Take advantage of a tour from Tourplicity and visit a Navajo trading post where you can buy arts and crafts from these amazing people. Call us today to make your tour reservation!