The people referred to as Navajo nation are thought to have migrated from Pueblo, an Indian word meaning farmlands. Their ancient lifestyle was nomadic because they had periods of traveling and settling. Navajo could adapt easily to the new environment and moved on when it was necessary especially when the conditions they lived in did not favor their way of life. Scholars believe that they inherited these skills from Pueblo ancestors and expanded the knowledge wherever they moved to(Woodscanyon.net, 1). Ancient Navajo were hunters and gatherers where men hunted different wild animals such as big-horned sheep, elk, mule deer, and buffalos. They did hunt at the fall of the nights, and the hunted animals were slaughtered and processed at hunting camps, dried and wrapped for the journey back home. Fruits, wild plants, and nuts consisted the vegetation materials gathered mostly by the women and children. These materials were gathered during summers and springs as well as early fall. Gathering group’s campsites in the areas where broadleaf yucca fruits, Indian rice, pinon nuts and sumac berries were harvested(Woodscanyon.net, 1). The vegetation-based food was then processed, dried and wrapped to be eaten during winter. Navajo migrated from one region to another depending on seasons, migratory patterns of the animals they hunted and locations of the wild plant food. Some families who had animals could move their animals as far as south to Mount Taylor, East to Jemez Mountains and west through the Chuskas.
In the past four millenniums, human beings started living in societies and creating settlement around farming and agriculture. As witnessed all over the world, each and every culture developed their own food product techniques in their native land. While contemporary agricultural techniques may mask this process, some cultures appreciate the opportunity to continue practicing their traditional farming methods (Navajocodetalkers.org, 1). This more seen in Navajo nation. Apart from hunting and gathering Navajo nation particular women practiced some kind of farming. At some point in their history, they stopped principally relying on wild plants and started domesticating maize, beans, acorns, and squash among others. The ancient agricultural techniques employed by Navajo people may be seen as less modern but were highly effective since they used farming tools enabling the societies to thrive. The cultivated food helped to compliment what the men had hunted. Apart from plant food and hunted meat, Navajo people used herbs, roots, and barks to treat various diseases that have killed several people in the other parts of the world such as Europe.
In the modern era, Navajo live in what is called Arizona regions in the United States, the only region with more than a half Indian who are farmers. Currently, most of the horses, sheep, and goats in Arizona are reared in Indian ranches and farms. In fact, about 20 million acres of land under farming, are owned by the twenty Indian American tribes. This is equivalent to approximately 80% of the land under farming in Arizona region(Murphree, 1). In 2007, agriculture products worth $85 million were sold from the Navajo nation land. This represents about $10,000 per farm owned by American Indian in Arizona region(Murphree, 1). It is apparent that Navajo nation has fully adopted modern agricultural techniques and only practicing a few ancient ones. They have fully abandoned thenomadic way of life since now they can cultivated plants for their animals.
Murphree, Julie. “Arizona Agriculture On Tribal Lands Shows Our Diversity”. Info.Azfb.Org, 2013, http://info.azfb.org/blog/bid/330340/Arizona-Agriculture-on-Tribal-Lands-Shows-Our-Diversity.
Navajocodetalkers.org. “Navajo Farming | Navajo Code Talkers”. Navajocodetalkers.Org, 2017, http://navajocodetalkers.org/navajo-farming/.
Woodscanyon.net. “Traditional and Agricultural Economy”. Woodscanyon.Net, 2017, https://www.woodscanyon.net/Navajo/Economy/index.html.