Navajo and Sheep - Navajo History
Quatr.us answers questions

Navajo after 1500 AD

Navajo people moved south into the south-west part of North America from their home in Canada about 1400 AD. So when the Spanish invaders came in the 1500s, the Navajo (Dine is what they call themselves) were themselves pretty new to the area.

Navajo with sheep
Navajo with sheep

When the Navajo arrived, they had been nomads, who lived mainly by raiding the Pueblo people. But they soon began to learn new ways from the Pueblo people and began to settle down to farm corn and beans like them. Still, when the Spanish settlers brought sheep to North America for the first time, the Navajo were happy to give up farming and instead, in the 1600s, they began to herd sheep and goats. They learned how to shear the sheep and weave the wool into blankets and rugs and clothes, and they were able to trade their lamb and mutton and their blankets and rugs and clothes to Pueblo people and to the Spanish settlers for the corn and beans that they didn't grow themselves.

But through the 1700s the Navajo also went on getting some of their stuff by raiding their neighbors - the Pueblo people, the Ute, the Paiute, and the Spanish settlers. Navajo raiders took sheep, horses, corn and beans, silver jewelry and steel tools, and people to sell to the Spanish as slaves. With horses, the Navajo were able to do a lot more raiding. This raiding made the Navajo a lot of enemies.

Navajo's Long Walk

Bibliography and further reading about Navajo history:

Early Navajo history
Pueblo people
Apache people
American History
Quatr.us home


Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

Help support Quatr.us!

Quatr.us (formerly "History for Kids") is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?