Early navajo dating
Although unemployment is often quoted at approximately 50 percent, it is still better than 600 jobs for a population of 60,000 at the end of World War II.
Families then used the buckboard and two horses for transportation; today that sight is a rarity, and a pickup truck the norm.
Today conditions are much improved but still fall well below the standards that most Americans enjoy. However, because of the size of the reservation and the greatly scattered population, long-distance day and boarding schools are required.
Although the reservation paved highways traverse much of the Reservation, lateral roads are frequently impassable in wet and winter months. Timber, oil, minerals, and other natural resources are being developed, and through recent legislation, the Navajo people are realizing greater benefits from their land than ever before. Today, school enrollment includes over one half of the population.
Approximately one half, or 8,000 people, were gathered and forced to travel 350 miles to Ft. Here the government tried to change their way of life to an agricultural style. The land and the Navajo were simply not suited to agriculture. With the government issue of sheep in 1869, the Navajo tribe began reemerging. Still, their numbers increased markedly, from approximately 12,000 in 1869 to approximately 35,000 in the early 1930s.
The local people, Americans, Mexicans, and other Indians, including Apache and Comanche, were most inhospitable. In a period of 4 years, nearly one fourth of the population died. General William Sherman and the Navajo leader, Barboncito, agreed to a new treaty. It was a slow and painful rebirth and growth fraught with many difficulties. According to Don Dedera, it was not until World War II that the Navajo’s lot seemed to improve significantly, if only temporarily.
The Last 200 Years The difficulties of Navajo were not limited to just the Spanish or their old neighbors, the Pueblo tribes.
It was a simple transition to start weaving with the wool of the purloined Spanish sheep instead of cotton, like the Pueblos.However, it is important to note how the conflict ended in 1863. Cavalry appointed Colonel Kit Carson, the famous mountain man, explorer, scout, and guide, to the task of effectively eliminating the “Navajo threat.” He adopted General Sherman’s “scorched earth” technique and effectively destroyed the Navajo’s livelihood. This last act insured the starvation of the Navajo, who finally surrendered.The ensuing changes dramatically affected the Navajo’s weaving art. At this time, the tribe numbered approximately 14,000 to 15,000 strong.The high cost to the federal government for maintaining these people in food, lodging, and clothing was politically and economically unacceptable, especially since the program was obviously not working. The Navajo were allowed to return to their homeland. Overgrazing and lack of rain caused most of the difficulties. About 3,600 Navajos were in the military and another 15,000 in the defense industry.After the war, however, jobs dropped to about 600 while the population soared to 60,000.
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In the Beginning It has often been said “the land was good for nothing else so we gave it to the Indians.” Nothing could be further from the truth.