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One of the largest Native American tribes in the 19th century are the Navajo’s. This tribe is also known as the Diné tribe who were semi-nomadic people, meaning that they migrated seasonally to prepare crops during their periods of settlement. The Navajo’s were located in the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Navajo people of what is now New Mexico were affected differently by westward expansion then the Eastern tribes were.The tribe retained goats and sheep’s. Wild animals such as deer, rabbit, and fish is what they ate for meat. Being hunters/farmers are what they were known for. Their crops were nuts, berries, vegetables, and fruits. They used weapon’s such as bows and arrows and knives. Men wore animal skin or fur that was worn between the legs and tucked over a belt. During cold weathers, cloaks or ponchos were worn. Women typically wore skirts or blouses that were traditionally made. Hair was kept long for cold weather. The Navajo tribe had a strong belief in Animism, or that animals, plants, rivers, and other living things along with the universe had spirits or souls. They also believed that the “Great Spirit’ controlled the weather and night and day. The houses they commonly lived in were like pit houses, but they called the Hogans. The Hogans were very earthen houses, meaning they were built using sticks, leaves, mud, etc.Unites States president Thomas Jefferson believed that his nation’s future relied on its westward expansion. In 1830, Jackson persuaded Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act. This is a bill that compelled Native Americans to leave the U.S and remain in the Indian Territory West of the Mississippi River. Since this isn’t the first time that a foreign nation invaded their tribal lands they were affected differently than the other tribes. Spain was the first nation to colonize in the desert Southwest leaving the Navajo tribe under Spanish colonial rule. Usually when you think of a colony under the rule of a foreign nation, you think of it in an negative way. But not with the Navajo’s. They benefited from interaction with the Spanish colonials by way of trade. The interaction between the Navajo’s and the United States was different. They weren’t peaceful at all. In 1864 the Union Army invaded the Navajo territory. The army destroyed their livestock, crops, and homes. The Navajo’s had no choice but to surrender. When they did they were forced to walk a 300-mile journey to Bosque Redondo in Fort Sumner, this became known as “The Long Walk”. The army didn’t supply enough food causing them to become weak. They were still forced to walk despite the cold and hunger. Many Navajo’s were killed or either died on the sorrow bitter journey.Bosque Redondo was where the Navajo tribe stayed so that the U.S could take the Navajo land. However, this became a disease-filled camp and a prison like place for four years. The living conditions there were horrendous causing them to struggle with sickness and starvation. For all the repulsiveness of life on the reservation, the Navajo’s chance at Bosque Redondo hadone beneficial outcome. It helped them understand their solidarity as a clan. Gradually, the Navajo came to perceive that their advantages would be best served if they acted as one. The Navajo’s that were still living consented to a treaty where they could return to their previous region. In 1868, a group led by a famous political and spiritual leader, Barboncito contrived with the Americans for their release. The treaty granted the Navajo’s 3.5 million acres to their original land, 15,000 goats and sheep, and 500 cattle. The Navajo’s agreed to the treaty and allowed the U.S to build railroads through their land. In the end, the Navajo tribe profited from contact with Americans from the sale for jewelry, pottery, and rugs.Recurred to the land they cherished, the Navajo pounced back from their subjection like no other Native Americans. Their population expanded, and their sheep became speedier. The Indian tribe managed to survive westward expansion unimpaired.

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