Navajo culture predates the United States by over 3,000 years, and, despite a long history of violent displacement against it, remains vibrant, resourceful and fascinating to this day. The Navajo Nation is the largest federally recognized tribe in the U.S., both in membership (nearly 400,000) and landmass (27,000 square miles spanning Arizona, New Mexico and Utah). It has nation-within-a-nation legal status, it's own government services, and even the well-respected, six-campus Diné College (named for the pre-conquest name of the Navajo).
With breathtaking parks, monuments, museums, and cultural programs, the Navajo Nation offers unique opportunities for visiting and learning. You can camp in a canyon, sleep in a traditional Hogan, or explore interactive exhibits. Hundreds of thousands of Americans visit each year, in a welcome cultural exchange that supports crucial Navajo economic development.
Love festivals? The wildly popular Navajo Nation Fair, boasting an average daily attendance of over 15,000 visitors, is a great way to learn about Navajo culture, including their famed horsemanship. Typically held each year in September, this world-renowned event showcases Navajo agriculture, arts, cultural events -- and, of course, a rousing rodeo.
Lovers of the arts will also delight in the rich heritage of Navajo weaving, jewelry, music, dance and traditional storytelling. Wonderful annual events include the popular Navajo Festival of Art and Culture and the Colorado Plateau Heritage Festival.
Navajo are also well represented at the many events and institutions nationally which showcase Native American life. At the National Museum of the American Indian, a favorite Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, indigenous cultures from all the Americas are celebrated year-round. Or, for an exciting annual event, the Gathering of the Nations Powwow is the world's largest gathering of Indigenous nations.
Last but not least, everybody loves a rodeo. The Indian National Finals Rodeo, the largest and most prestigious Native American rodeo event, includes Navajo among the top contenders. Held each year in Las Vegas, this exciting event is typically scheduled for October.
Hózhǫ́ Joogááł !