Navajo Nation: The Travel Adventure of a Lifetime. Native Crafts, Jewellery, Food, Hotels & Incredible Scenery

The history of the Diné, (Navajo people), is an important part of the history of the United States. There are endless opportunities to explore this glorious, sacred land. Self guided tours, jeep or horseback tours, tours lead by a native guide. However you get around, a visit to Navajo Nation will be a life changing adventure. Here’s just a glimpse of what’s on the agenda when you voyage into the world of the Navajo people.

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Breathtaking Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. Credit: Lonelyplanet.com. Monument Valley is a 30,000 acre Navajo Tribal Park established in 1958, located on the border of Arizona and Utah within the 16 million-acre Navajo Reservation. It’s one of the most photographed places on the planet.

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If you’re lucky you’ll see the majestic wild horses who call Monument Valley home. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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The Navajo Nation is a 70,000 square kilometer sovereign state spread across the astonishingly beautiful mesas of New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. This is stunning Coalmine Canyon. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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Four Corners Monument Tribal Park sits at the meeting points of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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The Milky Way seems to cascade directly down into Bisti Badlands, a large area of shale hills. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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To the Diné, (Navajo people), the Upper Antelope Canyon is known as Tse’bighanilini’ which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Antelope Canyon is made up of two magnificent slot canyons that lie on land belonging to the Navajo Nation, and is a sacred site of the Navajo People. Credit: Discovernavajo.com. Want to learn more? Read how Antelope Canyon was formed.

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Crow Canyon in northwestern New Mexico; hundreds of years of awe inspiring Navajo petroglyphs. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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The Diné have been crafting jewelry out of metal since the mid-1800s, when they obtained metal by melting down American silver dollars or Mexican pesos. This is master silversmith Roland Brady at work. Credit: Discovernavajo.com.

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Exquisite coral and sterling silver squash blossom necklace, Pueblo Direct.com.

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Sterling silver overlay cuff bracelet by possibly the most famous Native American silversmith of all time, Tommy Singer. Available through Pueblo Direct.

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Sterling silver and turquoise shadowbox bear paw design men’s belt buckle. Pueblo Direct.

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Impressive spiny oyster and turquoise sterling silver cuff bracelet. Pueblo Direct.

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Pueblo Direct sells authentic Navajo and fine Native American jewellery. Sterling silver and Kingman Turquoise heart cuff bracelet.

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Multi-Color Saguaro Cactus Earrings. The inlayed stones in this design are oyster shell, mother of pearl, lapis, opal and green turquoise. Silver Star Jewelry AZ.

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Handsome sterling silver and turquoise bolo tie. Pueblo Direct.

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Masterful Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Petroglyph ring by Native American artist Alex Sanchez..Pueblo Direct.

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Santo Domingo jeweler Chris Nieto crafted these amazing mosaic inlay earrings using sterling silver, serpentine, turquoise, jet, lapis, coral, mother-of-pearl, and jet backing. Through Pueblo Direct.

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Navajo ceramics are collected by connoisseurs worldwide. This is an example of a “Storyteller” piece. The mother tells her three children the history and stories of the Navajo people. Created by an artist from the Jemez Pueblo. Available through Pueblo Direct.

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Vintage Hopi Pottery Polychrome Bowl Rainbird Pattern by Irma David. This lovely traditional piece was hand built in coils then scraped smooth to shape it. Available through All Tribes.com.

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This magnificent Santa Clara Pueblo black pottery bowl was created by Vickie Martinez. She hand coils, shapes, carves, fires and polishes her pottery using all traditional methods. Pueblo Direct. Interested in this fabulous black-on-black burnished pottery? Here’s some additional reading about Maria Martinez, one one of the best-known Native potters of the twentieth century.

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Antique Navajo rugs at Garland’s, Sedona, Arizona.

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Glorious antique 1940’s Yei weaving. Garland’s. What are Yei? “The Navajo way of life is based on an oral tradition in which stories, lessons and values are passed down from generation to generation. One theme that reoccurs often and is mentioned in almost all writings is attainment and maintenance of harmony and beauty, called hozho. The Yei Be Chei dancers perform the ceremonies as depicted in this weaving.”-from Navajo Rug.com. Want to learn more about this incredible art form? Visit Navajorug.com.

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“Wind Girl” sand painting, Garland’s.  Fashioned with crushed rocks and minerals.

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The most iconic Navajo food is certainly fry bread, traditionally made with only four ingredients. Image credit: nbcnews.com. Want to learn how to make this Navajo treat? Watch this Youtube video by a Navajo woman who has been cooking this delicacy since she was 9 years old as she shows us how to made Navajo tacos. Interested in Navajo cooking? Check out the Native Cookbook created by the nrcnaa.org.

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There are only a few hotels and campsites within Monument Valley, so be sure to book early to experience waking up to this incredible panorama. Premium private cabins are available at The View Hotel.

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The View Hotel. Image credit: simonasacri.com.

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Dining room of The View Hotel, where you can order authentic Navajo cuisine created by native residents living within the valley, to be delivered to your table.

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View from Goulding’s Hotel.

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You can rent a luxury home with magnificent views of Monument Valley. Goulding’s Hotel.

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Why not try something completely different and stay in a traditional tipi while visiting the Navajo Nation? Image credit: lavendervines.com.

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Monument Valley Tipi Village. Image credit: simonasacri.com.

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Snug and cozy inside this traditional native tipi. Image credit: tripadvisor.com.

Wherever you decide to stay during this trip of a lifetime, the important thing is to experience the Navajo Nation and bring your camera. Here is a list of all of the Navajo Tribal Parks on the Navajo Nation Reservation. Bahoozhǫ́ǫ doo! That’s Navajo for “enjoy!”

 

Diane Weisbeck

Diane Weisbeck is a native New Yorker. A luxury lifestyle content writer, Diane was a retail buyer for Lord & Taylor’s flagship store, a product design/developer for Saks Fifth Avenue’s corporate office and a Director of Retail for major museums and high end retailers. She assists global luxury brands with their marketing and brand strategies and is also a Fair Trade corporate art consultant.

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