Here you’ll find some stories specific to the Navajo people’s rich history.
- Annie Wauneka
Annie Dodge Wauneka was born in 1910. She was the daughter of the first Navajo Tribal Chairman Chee Dodge. As a child, Annie was influenced by her father’s political status in the tribe, becoming the first woman to serve on the Navajo Tribal Council. Read more
Barboncito was a famous spiritual leader and one of the many influential Chiefs of the Navajo people. He was born in 1821 to a mother descended from the Jemez Clan, also known as the Coyote Pass People, or Maii deeshgiizhinii, and was raised in Tseyi (Canyon de Chelly). The name "Barboncito" means ‘little beard’ in Spanish. (The Navajo describe a mustache as ‘little beard’.) Photos of Barboncito show him as a dark, small, wiry man with an ample mustache. Read more
Chief Manuelito, known as “Little Manuel” in the Spanish language, was born in southeastern Utah in 1818. He was born to the Bit’ahnii clan (Folded Arms People Clan). He had other names he was known by as well: Hastiin Ch’ilhaajinii’(Black Weeds), Ashkii Diyinii (Holy Boy), Nabaah Jilt’aa (Warrior Grabbed Enemy) and “bullet hole” to non-native people. Manuelito was a huge man, measuring over six feet tall and weighing about 200 pounds. His large frame matched his superb leadership and strategic skills.
Narbona was one of the Navajo Chiefs who participated in the ‘Navajo Wars’. He was considered a great leader and warrior, as well as a distinguished negotiator and peace-maker. Narbona was one of the wealthiest Navajo of his time, wealth based on the amount of sheep and horses his family group owned. Because of his wealth, his status in the tribe, and his reputation as a great and just leader, he was influential in the negotiations with the Americans. Read more
- Navajo Code Talkers
America entered World War II on December 7th 1941, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Communications among the Allied Forces, from ship to ship and battalion to battalion was of vital importance to coordinate battle plans and tactical information. To protect these communications, secret codes were created by the Allied armies so that the enemy would not be aware of America’s troop movements. These ciphers were eventually broken by the Japanese and vital military secrets lost to the other side. Read more
- RC Gorman
Rudolph Carl Gorman (1931 - 2005) was, possibly, the most famous Navajo artist of the 20th century. The New York Times labeled RC Gorman the “Picasso of American Indian art". Gorman was born in Chinle, Arizona, the son of Carl Gorman, a noted Navajo painter and teacher and one of the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II. Read more
- The Long Walk
In the Spring of 1868, the Diné were prisoners of War. In a time of great leaders, a strong and eloquent Navajo Chief stood before the United States government, Barboncito, one of the twelve leaders who signed the Treaty of the Long Walk. Before the treaty was signed the Navajo were prisoners of war, after the treaty, the Navajo were free and began the long walk back to the sacred homeland. Read more