Wind Talkers: Navajo Code Talkers in WWII - NAVAJO FAMILY LIFE

Navajo People Shearing Sheep Native-Americans and First Peoples  Visual Arts

Harold Baxter (1889-1982) took this picture of Navajo shearing sheep. The image was digitized by Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, and is online via Navajo People.


The Navajo are a hardworking people. Before World War II, they divided family responsibilities along traditional lines.

  • Navajo women took an active part in handling the sheep and goats and were responsible for most of the shearing.

  • Women would also card, spin and dye the wool which was then turned into yarn, suitable for weaving beautiful Navajo blankets and rugs.

  • While mothers worked, their babies rested in a cradleboard.

  • By 1937, Navajos were still cultivating their corn, a Navajo staple, by hand. The same was true of thrashing and grinding.

  • The Navajo dried their corn on a "summer shade" or directly on the land.

  • Because of the arid conditions, squash could be stored in a pit called a root cellar.

Even at a time when the United States was mostly an agrarian country, the Navajos lived differently from other Americans. But they also took time to have fun.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5186stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jan 16, 2016

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"NAVAJO FAMILY LIFE" AwesomeStories.com. Jun 01, 2002. May 19, 2019.
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