NAVAHO, or NAWAJO, Sp. peon.
An important tribe of Athapascan stock (q.v.). Their prescnt reservation in Ari zona and extending into New• :Mexico and Ptah comprises nearly ten million acres, but it is almost entirely an arid desert of sand and rock, unfit for any purpose except scanty grazing. Like other tribes of the same stock, they call them selves simply Dine;, 'people;' they are called Apaelics de Navajo in Spanish records at least as early as 1630. They came originally from the far northern home of their kindred. but have incorporated elements from all the neighboring, tribes. They were roving and predatory in their habits, and were continually at war with the Ute and the Plains tribes. The•v were alternately at war or peace with the Spaniards during the early some that in 1705 and again in 1713 it was necessary to bring them to terms by vigorous in of their connhy. In 1744 Franciscan missionaries attempted to civilize. them. but in a few years the effort was abandoned. In 1805, in consequence of continued raids. a Spanish force penetrated their stronghold in Tseyi ((Melly) Callon and indicted a severe defeat• killing 113 men. and children. The lesson, however, was soon forgotten. and between the fall of the Spanish tamer about 1815 and the American occupation of the country thirty years later they made the stealing of sheep, cattle, and horses from the Alexican settlements a steady and tirofitable business. With their booty they were enabled to beconfe a pastoral tribe, and they adopted from the more civilized Pueblos a well developed weaving art. From they learned the simpler forms of metal-working. espe cially in silver. In H-tli a number of prominent chiefs made their first treaty with the American I:overnment, but, on account of the unfortunate killing of the principal signer three years later. the tribe again became hostile. llostilities emu tinned with but short intermissions until 1803, when it was determined to deport the entire tribe to the Bosque 'Redondo reservation on the Pecos River, near Fort Sumner, in eastern New :Mexico. Lt the ensuing winter a mixed force of whites and Ute under Kit Carson in vaded the Navaho (-wintry and forced their eaciOn stronghold. Within a year nearly 8.300 had been deported to the 1tosque Redondo, and it was supposed that not more than 2000 remained at large in their own country, but later develop ments proved that not more than half, and these not the most troublesome, had been removed. The
experiment proved a failure. The stock of the Navaho died or was stolen, crops failed, their numbers decreased from disease, escapes. and attacks by the Plains tribes. In June. 1sti8. a new treaty WAN Made, tinder which the captives. then numbering 731m. were returned to to reservation set aside in their old country, and were given sheep and cattle with which to laTin life Since then they have remained quiet. steadily inereasing in wealth and population. In 1884 the reservation was extended to its present dimensions to accom modate their rapidly increasing herds, The Navaho have a fully developed ChM sys tem. inelnding some tifty clans. with descent in the felnille line. Their government is democratic mid local. rather than centralized, since the nature of their country and occupation prevents the of large organized bodies, so that each family shifts for itself in the starch for temporary pasturage and water supply. They are agricultural to a limited extent. They make S01111. 11. It t..ry and baskets. hut derive their main siffisistenee from their herds of sheep and goats. togethi r wills horses and some cattle. They are well known for the beautiful and durable blank ets 1111.y weave from the wool of their docks. and for their artistic silver ornaments.
Mlle like II ost pastoral peoples. they :ire !motile, they build it each regular halting place permanent or circular houses, of logs covered with c.irth. with a short covered entraneewi% and it the top. Men and women alike a re almost constantly at work caring for their herds, weaving. or labor ing at the forge. They have elaborate and spectaeular iittial ceremonies and an abundant mythology, with hundreds of sacred songs in the keeping of their priests. Aside from the indus tries which they have made their own they have adopted but little of the white man's civilization or teaching. They arc estimated now at 21). 0u11, less than half of whom are within the reservation limits. the rest ranging on outside pastures or working in the white settlements. Consult Matthews. Noraho Legends ( Boston, 18971, See Colored Plate of I xtuANs.