NAVAJO TIME

Native Americans, in history, have always been misjudged. Having the belief taken and replaced with a new belief, but then our own belief came back and mixed in with the new belief, for most Native Americans. The idea of native belief was seen as the wrong state of mind. Countless individuals were punished for practicing sacred traditions and speaking the language of the tribe. Ways to rid of the religion was by creating boarding schools and taking the children and assimilating the children into learning english and keeping them for long periods at a time in an effort to make the kids forget their native heritage.

The Navajo people, or Diné, is today's largest tribe in the United States, with land spanning over the four corners, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. In the past, Navajos were forced from their homes and taken to Bosque Redando or Fort Sumner. The journey was exhausting, walking bare foot for over 300 miles. Many individuals died along the way, even going off the main trail in order to walk the Navajos through towns the degrade the people. This type of event happened to many other Native tribes all across America, not just the Navajos. Millions of Native American ancestors lost their life voyaging through different weather situations and periods in time.

Today, the Diné are prospering, with around 300,000 living on and off the Navajo reservation. The culture and traditions are being passed down. Some traditions include traditional rug weaving, speaking the Navajo language, practicing ceremonies, and cooking traditional navajo cuisine. With practicing these traditions, it brings families together no matter how far they live. Not only does the traditions bring families together, the elders and certain members also play a big role in bringing together individuals. Whether celebrating a birthday or participating in a ceremony, it is always a vibrant atmosphere, with laughter, small talk and serious conversations.

In the area of traditions bringing joy, it also helps aid in a lifestyle of an occupation. Rug weaving is something not many individuals learned how to do. Luckily for some individuals, it was learned at a young age. Although, weaving a rug may seem like a piece of cake, it is not what may seem. Weaving calls for patience and a good back, knees, hands and bottom. Sitting can cause pain, usage of the fingers on the string can cause pain. Having patience is what guides people to be successful in making a career with weaving big and small rugs.

Thinking back on how Native American ancestors lived their lives, modern natives can be thankful. As for non Natives, it can be a leason. Through all the hardships, we natives stuck together and pulled through to the better side and still working our way to a brighter future, away from being picked on and having things taken away.

This is only a stepping stone for others to recognize, we are still here and still fighting.

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