(or, in their language, Diné or Dineh, or the People)
MULTIPLE CHOICE EXERCISE
The Navajo Nation is the second largest Native American tribe in the United States, with a population of 300,460 members in the 2015 census. Most Navajos live in Arizona and New Mexico, but there is a smaller community in Utah.
The Navajo permeate their lives with religious feelings, with an exuberant joy in the richness of living; they believe in the Beauty Way. Here is one of the sacred songs that they traditionally chant. Think about how it strongly images their identification with harmony and beauty:
Now I walk with Talking God
With goodness and beauty in all things around me I go
With goodness and beauty I follow immortality.
Thus being I, I go.
Life was never easy for the Navajos. American settlers and pioneers were involved in conflicts with Native groups since the early 1600s, and these conflicts didn’t actually end until 1924 when they were granted
When the Mexican-American War broke out in 1846, Indigenous groups, including the Navajo, participated in this war. That particular war ended 1848, at which time California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, part of Wyoming and New Mexico were annexed to the United States of America. Mexican citizens who had been living in the new territories were granted citizenship, but the Indians living there were not; legally, they were treated as
The Navajo people were not warriors; instead they planted crops, orchards, raisedlivestock and tried to keep away from conflict. However, they had had experiences of being raided, making treaties and having treaties being broken. They began to practice some hostilities and raids, both against American soldiers and the
In 1849, one of their chiefs, Narbona, was killed and then scalped by the American soldiers. After that incident, conflicts increased between the Navajos and the Americans. Following the Navajo tradition, the Indians killed two of the chief’s best horses so that their chief could
to the afterlife.
But those hostilities were put on a back burner when the Americans who lived in the Northern and Southern United States became engaged in a civil war between the years 1861 – 1865. Most East Coast Indian tribes fought in this war, on differing sides depending on their interests. During this war, the American government did not have the manpower or time to “tame” the west. After the war ended, the white population elected a president:
The more developed part of the country was devastated after the war, and many people decided to move west, seeking a new beginning and also because of the promise of fertile land. The problem was that Native Americans were already inhabiting much of this fertile land, and many of them were Navajo. Besides land, many of the homesteaders were looking for
The Navajos had originally been a nomadichunting tribe. But after the Spanish introduced sheep in the early 17th century, they became a pastoral people and substituted sheep raising for hunting. They used their land, and did not take well to new settlers in their part of the country. The Spanish had also taught them
Treaties were signed and treaties were broken. Then, a man named Kit Carson came to Navajo land. He was a trapper, a scout for the U.S. military, had participated in the Civil War as well as the Mexican-American War and had twice been married to Indian women. He knew New Mexico, as he had led the military force that drove the Confederate Army out of New Mexico during the
Carson was a colonel in the army at the time that white settlers had begun to occupy New Mexico. His commander had already removed most the Apaches to a designated place called Bosque Redondo, but the Navajo Nation was fighting the army and the settlers, trying to maintain their ancestral
Along with the U.S. army Kit Carson hunted the Navajos and fought them for 4 years (1864-68) burning their homes, stealing their stock animals and destroying their fields and orchards. After Kit Carson and the military implemented a scorched-earth policy, the Navajo nation
The Navajos were then forced to march on foot to Fort Sumner, located in a territory called Bosque Redondo in New Mexico where the Apaches were being held. The Navajos remember this tragic walk as “The Long Walk of the Navajo”. They began the walk of over 482 kilometers when they were already cold, malnourished and exhausted. Men, women, and children died on route, and some were shot because they couldn’t keep up. Those who survived were imprisoned in the fort in January of 1864 in what was supposed to be the first Indian
But by 1866 the federal government realized that Bosque Redondo was a failure. They began an investigation and the major who had been Kit Carson’s superior was fired. Another treaty was signed, and Bosque Redondo was
The federal government released the Navajos, giving them a reservation of 14,000 km² in NE Arizona, NW New Mexico, SE Utah and a supply of sheep and seeds. It had been a part of their tribal homeland. A quarter of the tribe had died during this ordeal and the Navajo nation only numbered about 9,000. The Navajos had to agree to send their children to U.S. government
The Native Americans were not left in peace. In 1887 Congress adopted something called the General Allotment Act, which allowed the government to survey Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individuals. The Indians who accepted these allotments were granted United States citizenship, but they had to live separately from their
This act was amended and changed a few times, but the object was always the same: supposedly to bring the Native Americans out of poverty, to assimilate them into mainstream America, to decrease their land holdings and sell the land to
Besides losing about 90 million acres of the land that had been returned to them after being held in Bosque Redondo, the Navajo tribal community suffered a severe
However, as the Navajos are adaptable and innovative, they began to develop a livestock based economy. This worked for them until it put them in direct conflict with powerful New Mexican
The word cliffhanger comes from cliffs. Duh. Cliffs are vertical, or nearly vertical, rocks that have been formed by erosion and weathering. There are lots of famous cliffs, but the first ones that come to my mind are the White Cliffs of Dover, probably because there was a popular World War II song about them that was part of my childhood, and also because they are on the historical English coastline.
When one thinks of cliffhangers, England and its gothic novels always come to mind. Cliffhangers are the kind of story, book or movie that uses suspense either at the end of an episode or a scene. A good example was the way the final episode of Game of Thrones, season 5, was done. Jon Snow was dead. Or was he? Those of us who sweated it out until season 6 was aired were never really sure. The writers used old-fashioned melodrama, suspense and uncertainty, and the audience was left as if hanging from a cliff in a state of tension and apprehension. And that’s a true cliffhanger.
This part of the blog will not be able to offer any nail-biting cliffhangers, but it will have classes in series, and I hope they will be interesting enough that you will want to come back and read what happens next, even if you don’t lose sleep anticipating the next chapter. Enjoy.
Meu compromisso semanal com a Betsy não pode ser considerado uma aula, e sim um momento onde dois amigos conversam, em inglês, sobre assuntos variado do dia a dia. Ela é uma pessoa muito atualizada, antenada no que acontece no mundo e em nossa cidade, e sempre traz seu ponto de vista sobre algum tema que debatemos. O que mais me impressiona é que a Betsy nunca vai para uma aula sem prepara-la, sem que tenha pesquisado e buscado textos e informações que muito acrescentam, tanto no idioma quanto no conhecimento geral. É um grande prazer poder usufruir de uma companhia tão agradável, e que não está preocupa somente em ensinar o idioma, mas que procura debater temas e assuntos do nosso cotidiano. Considero um privilégio este momento com ela, e somente tenho a agradecer sua dedicação e seu comprometimento.
Carlos Fernando Horta Bretas
Aprender inglês com Betsy é um privilégio! Com aulas dinâmicas, inteligentes, divertidas, sempre tratando de assuntos atuais, consegue ensinar e cativar! Tenho aulas com ela há muitos anos! Não pretendo parar, pois além de aprender a língua, Betsy coloca assuntos muito interessantes em pauta. Nestes muitos anos, nunca repetiu uma só aula! Grande professora!
Betsy was the my English teacher in Uberaba, a long time ago…. An excellent teacher, a wonderful human-being. She gave me the nickname I gladly adopted ever since. We became close friends and we are still close – in our hearts.
É um prazer falar das aulas da Betsy. São empolgantes, temas variados e atuais, envolventes, bem preparados e com muito amor, com certeza. Acredito que seu blog será “helpful ” para todos aqueles que têm interesse em aprender a língua inglesa ou simplesmente intensificar seu conhecimento. Um abraço carinhoso e sucesso!