Encyclopedia Article


More often spelled "Diné," Dinee can be translated from the Navajo language as "the People." Diné is also how the Navajo refer to themselves. The Diné are the largest federally recognized Native American group in the United States. Their reservation is spread out throughout the Four Corners region of the American Southwest, and includes portions of the states of Arizona, New Mexico,and Utah.

The Diné base their way of life on a belief that the physical and spiritual world blend together and everything on earth is alive, related, and in equilibrium or ho′zho′. In this light, they observe two primary ceremonials, among many others. The first is the Blessing Way, which keeps them on the path of wisdom and happiness. The second is the Enemy Way, which is meant to discourage evil spirits, eliminate ghosts, and cleanse an individual of elements or affects that have placed her or him out of balance.

Photo Credit: 

"A Navajo couple walking to the rodeo in Fruitland, New Mexico, 1952," photograph by Dr. Marc-Adlard Trembaly (2006_34_33), Farmington Museum, Farmington, New Mexico.

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