The Diné: A Pastoralist Society

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The Diné: The People Elisabeth Vestal ANT 101 Dr. Geoff Wood July 1, 2013 The Diné: The People The Navajo are a pastoralist society living in western areas of North America. Their culture was changed when the Spaniards came to America. Their culture was influenced by the Pueblos. Additional changes came when America went to war. Through the different influences on the culture and lives of the Navajo they have continued to grow and influence other cultures. The Navajo people lived a pastoral life but they began to be transhumanance instead of nomadic. They grew vegetables and used the procedes from blanket sales to increase their income. In the manner of transhumanance they begn to “relay less on their animals than do nomadic…show more content…
The underlying “concept and verbal design of…is profoundly holistic (Ramsey, 1989). The belief is that all illnesses threaten the community, and healing blesses the community. The medicine man of the tribe will do chants, dances and singing all as part of a ceremony to ask for healing. The native Navajo “healers assume that the sun, the moon, the stars, the rain, the cor, and all the rest of the living order are profoundly implicated in the cure of one human individuals afflictions, and must be…brought into consultation for the curing to be successful (Ramsey, 1989).” Sandpainting is also used in the healing process of the Navajo. The design is carefully poured out of the medicine mans hand. The medicine is helped by a chanter and assistants who “have recreated the required design depicting Navajo gods literally grain by grain (Ramsey, 1989).” After the ceremony the sand is thrown and scattered to the four corners so that any evil picked up by the sand will be scattered. Watching a sandpainting can be truly dramatic for the eyewitnesses, as one “(reported the palpable intensity that builds up…as the sacred images are made (Ramsey,…show more content…
(2011). True Whisperers: The Story of the Navajo Code Talkers. Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies, 89-91. Denetdale, J. (2009). Living through the Generations: Continuity and Change in Navajo Women's Lives, and Weaving Women's Lives: Three Generations in a Navajo Family. The American Indian Quarterly, 288-292. Deyhle, D. (2009). Reflections in Place: Connected Lives of Navajo Women. Tucson: Arizona Press. Laird, B. N. (2010). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Ramsey, J. (1989). The Poetry and Drama of Healing: The Iroquoian Condolence Ritual and the Navajo Night Chant. Literature and Medicine,

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