Culture

The Navajos take pride in a series of sacred ceremonies that are taught to apprentice medicine men. With over 50 different ceremonies to memorize, most specialize in only a handful of them. To the Navajos, they are a way of learning valuable lessons on history and how to not only stay alive, but to live responsibly in the Navajo way. Other ceremonies are merely celebrations such as the first time a child laughs out loud. When this occurs, it is considered a time for honor and celebration among the tribe. The celebration is known as the First Laugh Rite.In Navajo culture, each dawn is a new day; a day for renewal regardless of past transgressions. They believe prayers are answered by the Creator each morning.

The number four is a highly regarded number in their culture as well: the original four clans, the four mountains surrounding their land, four directions, four seasons, and the four colors. The number plays an additional role elsewhere in many ceremonies. When marrying, the men move into the homes of their wives and into their clans. Compared to other societies that focus more firmly on traditional male roles, the Navajo people historically are more focused to the females as the head of the household. In Navajo tradition, women were the ones who received an inheritance passed down through the generations.