The People

Encyclopedia Article


In Navajo, Diné means "the People." Eminently adaptable, the Diné learn from their neighbors and have incorporated elements from Pueblo, Hispanic, and even Anglo cultures into their lifeways, developing a traditional way of life that is fluid and dynamic but also deeply affected by their respect for custom and tradition. This is intimately tied to their belief that the physical and spiritual worlds blend together and that everything on earth is alive and related. This is called hózhǫ́, the state in which all living things are ordered, in balance, and walking in beauty. The opposite of hózhǫ́ is hóchxǫ́ǫ́, which refers to disorder and chaos in one’s life.

Photo Credit: 

"Navajo family and hogan," photograph, Elizabeth Willis DeHuff Pictorial Collection, 1998-2005 ( 000-099-1349). Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

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