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People of the Legends

Indigenous People of North America - Navajo

Oban the Knowledge KeeperThe Navajo call themselves Dineh, “the people”. Their Nation, which they call "Dineh Bikeyah" has more people than any other Native American tribe or nation - with about 298,000 people counted in the 2000 Census.

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Navajo lands

The boundaries of the original Navajo lands were marked by four sacred mountains:

  • Mt Hesperus – in the north in Alaska
  • Mt Taylor – in the south in New Mexico.
  • Mt Blanca – in the east in Colorado
  • San Francisco Peaks – in the west in Utah.

San Francisco peaks in winterToday the Navajo Nation stretches across three states – Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, and covers about 67,339 square kilometers (26,000 square miles or 17 million acres).

About 5,000 Navajo live in other parts of New Mexico on the Ramah, Canoncito and Alamo reservations.

Navajo business and work

Today the Navajo Nation earns income in many ways, including:

  • Leasing land for gas and oil production
  • Coal mining
  • Managing forest
  • Growing crops
  • Raising sheep and other animals
  • Tourism
  • Running shopping centres and banks.

Nine of the most famous American national parks are part of Navajoland, including the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly.

Canyon de ChellyThe Grand Canyon






Navajo weavers are world-famous for their woolen rugs, blankets and belts. Other craftspeople use silver and turquoise stones to make jewellery, belts and other items.

Rugs for sale in New MexicoLeather belt with patterned silver buckleUnited States postage stamp celebrating Navajo jewellery