The Navajo Indians lived in what is now considered northwest New Mexico and northeast Arizona. The land here contained many peaks, grasslands, canyons, and deserts. The Navajo Indians were originally a nomadic tribe until they came into contact with the Pueblo Indians that lived in them areas. They inherited many beliefs and customs from the Pueblo Indians including farming, pottery, and the weaving that the Navajo Indians would make famous.
The Navajo homes were round and built with forked sticks. These forked sticks would be covered with brush, packed mud, animal hides, and whatever else they could find to make them stronger. The doors of their home always faced east to greet the morning sunlight everyday. Outside of the Navajo homes were looms used for weaving, and these remained outdoors except during bad weather, then they brought them inside. The Native Navajo homes, called Hogans, were usually far apart from each other. The Navajo tribes also blessed their homes with sacred ceremonies to bring good luck and happiness.
The Navajo Indians found many ways to farm in the sometimes harsh desert climates of their territory. They created underground irrigation systems to get water to the crops and this alone shows how intelligent these supposed primitive tribes were, even though many of these skills were adapted from the Pueblo Indians, where at first the Navajo raided their crops until they began growing their own. The Navajo men were also known as great hunters and trappers, and this was their main means of food until they grew some crops. The Navajo Indians became famous for their intricate and colorful weaving of blankets and rugs, and they were also well known for their basket weaving skills. These skills provided plenty of opportunities for the Navajo to trade among other tribes and among the settlers, that were Spanish at first and then the European settlers made their way from the east coast out into the desert lands of the great Navajo people. Many Navajo Tribes still live throughout the Southwest and they have many reservations there now that were given to them by the United States government as settlers took over their lands.