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Claire Good Group

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Women Of The Navajo


Historically, tasks in Southwest societies were organized according to gender. Men and women played mutually supportive roles. Men were responsible for hunting, warfare, and ceremony, while women were responsible for childcare and the preparation of food and clothing. Although it was rare for Apache women to become warriors, they learned to ride and hunt and defend their villages when necessary. Gender roles also existed in the arts. Among Pueblo cultures, men wove textiles while women made pottery. Among the Diné (Navajo), men made jewelry while women were responsible for weaving. Among the Apache, men made tools for hunting and warfare while women made baskets.




women of the navajo



Background Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate contraception is widely used in Navajo women, a high-risk population for diabetes mellitus. However, depot medroxyprogesterone may lead to weight gain and independently decrease insulin sensitivity. We studied the association between depot medroxyprogesterone and development of diabetes in Navajo women.


Methods We studied Navajo women aged 18 to 50 years who had seen a health care provider at a Navajo Area Indian Health Service clinic at least once in 1998. Diabetic cases (n = 284) and nondiabetic controls (n = 570) were matched by age. Medical records were reviewed to determine contraception use before the diagnosis date of diabetes.


Conclusions Depot medroxyprogesterone contraception was associated with a greater risk of diabetes compared with combination oral contraceptive use only. Risk was associated with length of use and persisted after adjustment for body mass index. Additional research is needed for confirmation, but this risk should be considered in contraceptive choice for women at high risk for diabetes.


Women are the weavers in traditional Navajo society. Although this cultural value is fading somewhat today with a few young men taking up the challenge, women still dominate the area of weaving. The designs in Navajo weavings have always been a personal expression of the weaver. However, we can make some educated guesses based upon historical research and interviews with Navajo elders.


With 24 Navajo Nation Council delegates serving as the lawmaking body of the Navajo Nation government, more than one-third will be women. That is important, observers say, because the Navajo tribal government is known to be a government where men are in charge, even though the tribe itself is a matriarchal one.


Two women who served as Miss Navajo Nation, Crystalyne Curley and Shaandiin Parrish, described their time as Miss Navajo as either a way to get them one step closer into the Navajo government or to help them decide if pursuing office was what they wanted to do. Their struggle to get into office was met with pushback from their male opponents, some community members and some family, but in the end, they came out on top.


Initiatives, policy and other actions usually put at the forefront by current women leaders, such as the Murdered and Missing Diné Relatives issue, are expected to gain more attention. Denetdale wondered how these types of actions would be addressed if it was happening under women's leadership.


Changing Woman bears the children of the Sun, Johonaa'éf, after he shines his rays on her. Their children are the twin heroes , Monster Slayer (Naayéé' neizgháni) and Child of Water (To bajish chini), who cleared the earth of the monsters that once roamed it. Changing Woman lives by herself in a house floating on the western waters, where the Sun visits her every evening. One day she became lonely and decided to make some companions for herself. From pieces of her own skin, she created men and women who became the ancestors of the Navajo people. Changing Woman also created maize, an important food source for the Navajo.


The legislation proposes a three-branch multidisciplinary task force that will include family representation, to develop a holistic approach to addressing the crisis of missing and murdered Navajo men, women and children, both on and off the Navajo Nation.


In 2017, homicide was reported as the fourth-leading cause of death among Indigenous women under the age of 19 and the sixth-leading cause of death for ages 20 to 44, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


But the Navajo know. The sisters traveled through Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and other parts of the Southwest to interview living spider women and men, whose craft recalls the past and offers a path to the future. Some have won prestigious awards at prominent Native American art festivals like the Santa Fe Indian Market. Others are lesser-known artists who weave to keep the tradition alive.


Navajo, or Diné, culture is based on harmony and community. Each individual has a role and responsibilities within the culture. Medicine men, leadership, men and women each have a place in the larger whole of Navajo life. Each role within a community serves both practical and cultural purposes. In modern society, many traditional Navajo roles are still intact, blending with modern views without sacrificing traditional beliefs.


Historically, Navajo men were hunters, warriors and community leaders. In traditional Navajo society, men made jewelry and weapons. In today's Navajo society, the role of men is modernized, much as with other cultures. Men now raise livestock and tend farms, a role traditionally reserved for women. Likewise, only men could serve as chief or councel members in traditional Navajo communities. However, today those roles are changing. In November 2010, the first female candidate for Navajo Nation president appeared on voting ballots.


The role of women in Navajo society is largely unchanged in terms of goals and overriding beliefs. Traditionally, Navajo women tended livestock and crops, wove rugs, blankets and other crafts, cooked and provided childcare. In familial groups, females were assigned as role models for each pubescent female relative. Today's Navajo woman is still integral to maintaining family unity, imparting heritage and traditions to future generations, as well as serving as assigned role models. However, in today's Navajo Nation, women have careers, seek public office and compete with men for traditionally male-dominated roles in society.


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