The Culture of the Navajos

The Navajo peoples in the Four Corners.Carved out of the Four Corners region where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah share a boundary, the Navajo Indian Reservation is home to the largest tribe of native Americans. The federal government recognizes the group and indeed allows its local government a considerable measure of independence.

The Navajo people are part of a larger group of native Americans who speak a language belonging to the Athabascan family. Their ancestors are said to have migrated from Canada and Alaska at about 1400 CE.

Initially, they were semi-nomadic relying on hunting and gathering for food. Thanks to their exposure to Pueblo culture and their willingness to adopt alien practices, they began to cultivate farms growing corn, beans, and squash. With the arrival of the Spanish, they also learned how to raise sheep and goats. For clothing and blankets, they sheared the wool of their sheep and wove them into colorful fabrics.

Navajo culture is matrilineal, that is, it is the women who owned lands and livestock. Property is inherited by daughters, or, in their absence, other female relatives. When they get married, it is the groom who goes to live in the bride’s home. And since Navajo clans are exogamous, which includes the clans of one’s four grandparents, men do not only leave their families upon marriage, but their clans as well.

Rituals and ceremonies pervade the lives of the Navajos, they being a very spiritually-oriented people. Their worldview, however, is holistic, which means that the realm of spirits often merges with the physical world. Nowhere is this more manifest than in their healing and blessing ceremonies and rites of passage.

Sickness can be contracted by violating taboos, but they can be healed with herbs in conjunction with prayers, dances, and incantations. Blessings are given to anybody leaving the boundaries of the Four Sacred Mountains –Blanca Peak in Colorado, Mt. Taylor in New Mexico, San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, and Hesperus Mountain in Colorado—which they consider to be the limits of their homeland. There is a ceremony for Baby’s First Laugh, and of course, of a young girl’s passage into womanhood.

The Navajo people continue to be proud of their culture and their simple lifestyle, yet they do recognize and even adopt the conveniences and benefits of modern living.

The First Nations of Canada

From Indian bands to the First Nations.Archaeologists believe that modern-day Canada was inhabited as early 24,500 BCE. These early peoples would eventually develop into the three groups of aboriginal populations in Canada –the Inuit, Metis, and the First Nations.

The term “First Nations” was coined in the early 1980s by Elder Sol Sanderson to refer to groups of native Americans previously called “Indian bands”. This is because by that time, the term “Indian bands” had acquired a pejorative meaning and it was necessary to come up with a new designation that did not offend the sensibilities of both the white and native peoples. While “Indian” continues to be used, it is on the decline.

First Nations is not a single homogenous people. Indeed, up to the year 1000 CE, their predecessors were divided into over a hundred tribes with their own character, culture, and customs. Contact with the European explorers, however, exposed them to new diseases and infections against which they had no immunity. This decimated their populations.

As in their early years, the First Nations people of today are spread all over Canada. The Athapaskan- and Tutchone-speaking peoples inhabit the northwest along with the Slavey, Tli Cho, and Tlingit. Below them, along the coast of the Pacific, are the Gitxsan, Haida, Kwakiutl, Nisga’a, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Salish. There are also the Blackfoot, Kainai, Northern Peigan, and Sarcee in the Plains. The northern woodlands host the Chipewyan and Cree, while the Anishinaabe, Algonquin, Iroquois, and Wyandot live around the Great Lakes. To the east, along the Atlantic coast are the Abenaki, Beothuk, Innu, Maliseet, and Mi’kmaq. In addition to these major groupings, there are further sub-groups within each. In fact, there are over 630 First Nations governments with a total population of 700,000.

Each First Nations government is given lands by the Canadian Crown for the collective use and benefit of its peoples. Their individual members are officially recognized as “registered” or “status” Indians, but only if they are listed on the Indian Register. This entitles them to all official benefits granted under Canada’s Indian Act.

Compared with native Americans in what was to become the United States, the First Nations people were relatively peaceful and were willing to cooperate and work with the European settlers. Owing to these, they were able to integrate without losing their cultural identities.

Kitchen Furniture Dreaming: It Doesn’t Hurt to Window Shop

Kitchen FurnitureI fell in love with my first kitchen. Back then I was living inside a small apartment, but the previous tenant definitely had a good eye for interior design and kitchen equipment. She left in a hurry and left most of her stuff for me to enjoy and use. The kitchen furniture at was so useful and versatile that I did not hesitate to take them with me when it came my turn to move to a bigger place.

Three moves and ten full years later, my husband and I now have our own home. It is spacious and allows for the perfect amount of wind and sunshine. I’m dreaming of setting up the perfect kitchen here, but I know it will be a few more months before I have my dream kitchen. The kind of kitchen equipment and furniture I want are on the high end. It is costly and some are hard to come by – they have to be ordered overseas. I also need to save up for most of them.

However, I know it will all be worth it in the end. Having a dream kitchen that can hold its own against a professional one will make me – as well as my family and friends – very happy and fulfilled. For now, it doesn’t hurt to window shop and keep the dream alive!

Help! My Husband Called the DFW Fence Company!

DFW Fence CompanyWe haven’t been here in Dallas very long but I’m already loving the neighborhood and our new home. Not only is it big and spacious, it is also very airy and has a lived-in look and feel to it. My husband on the other hand, has concerns of his own. He says the house looks to open, specially in the pool area. I don’t exactly know what too open means, I thought it looked perfect. But since he’s the one in charge of security and safety of everyone inside the house, including our two adorable dogs – I trusted his instincts.

One fine morning I woke up to a knock on the door. I was surprised to see a uniformed man who introduced himself as from the DFW Fence Company. At first I had no idea what he was and what he was doing in front of my door, but a light bulb suddenly appeared and I realized that my dear sweet husband has called in professionals. What better way to close off a space that is too open than to box it in with a fence, right?

I was not exactly happy about it so I made an excuse to leave the house and shop whole the men worked in the back. I just hope that the house will still be pretty as a picture when I come back.

The Robot Automation Solution Can Be Found Here

The robot age has made manufacturing and industries more advanced and easier to manage and operate. If before, manpower and management was the biggest asset and liability of manufacturing companies, they are now able to find a way around that by automating their operations. Take for example a soda bottling company. As early as 40 years ago, these companies were employing machines for their operations but they were operated and maintained by human personnel. Everything was still monitored and overseen by a human expert.

While the business may have been efficient, it was affected by problems such as absences, tardiness or accidents inside the workplace. The absence of computer machinery also made everything slower and more cumbersome. As a result, they are not able to achieve their set goals most of the time. Things changed with the arrival of companies such as Vector Automation Technologies.

Companies like them heralded the automation of industries with the arrival of computer operated and run machinery. The operations also became large scale with the introduction of robots and robotic equipment. Nowadays, soda bottling plants can run for a full 24 hours every day with only minimal people working the shifts. Computers are at the heart of this technology, but rest assured the products still have some bit of human touch to them.

Finding Employment Opportunities for Disabled People Online

I am glad that at this day and age finding jobs for disabled people is less difficult than several decades back. Fortunately, people now are much aware of the rights and needs of the disabled.

I am saying this because my husband got into a serious car accident a couple of years ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Initially he was also finding it hard to move his arms but after months of therapy he gradually regained control of his upper limbs. I haven’t worked my entire life because my husband had a good job but after the accident I learned to step up and be his support for a change. We both went through a lot but it was a good thing that our church elders helped us to get our lives back on track by finding a job for my husband. They directed us to several websites that offered employment opportunities for disabled people. Given my husband’s experience and skill, it did not take him long to find a new job.

I couldn’t have survived that experience with a sane mind without the support of the community that is why I have also committed several hours a week to help out some church activities.

Hail to Striper Fishing!

I have nothing but praise and admiration for the guys who run the site! I have arranged to hire their services last summer to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday. He has always been a fishing enthusiast. However, none of us children shared his interest in the sport. He used to take us fishing when were all kids, but my siblings and I were more interested in playing and swimming than paying attention to what dad was trying to teach us.

When we became teenagers, we still went with him but we mostly stayed in the cabins and cooked or just enjoyed the vacation time. Dad stopped fishing a decade ago when his liver problems prevented him from going on extended trips alone. He had always dreamt of conquering Lake Texoma and wanted to catch their famed striped bass. On his 60th birthday, all of us children agreed that this was the best gift we could give our old man.

Since none of us are able anglers, I was told to organize the trip and hire fishing guides to help us find our way around Lake Texoma. I hired and was very happy with how they made my dad’s birthday fishing expedition a very memorable occasion.

Dallas Stone Fountains for the Win

Being an intense home gardening enthusiast can be quite an accomplishment. I’ve been gardening for 20 years and I have to say that the best part about tilling soil and caring for flowering plants is the journey you take to reach that end goal of spring when all your blooms are beautifully showcasing their true wonder in different bouquets, aromas and colors. When I decided to move into a bigger home so that I could take up more lawn space do do some landscape gardening, i promised myself I would put a fountain in my backyard. I immediately drew up some plans and decided on two Dallas stone fountains which would balance out both ends of the yard, culminating in cream and red rose beds.

This plan was easier said than done. It took me about two months before I found the right home gardening contractors to install the fountains. It was worth it in the end because now, my yard is the envy of every neighbor and many of my home owners association members has even asked me in person to help decorate their backyard. Dallas Stone Fountains are truly one of the most beautiful landscape decor you can install in your backyard or garden.

Leather Sofas San Antonio Style

One of the great things about being a retired individual is that you have so much time to devote to things that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the opportunity or time to do so when you were still on the corporate heading. The first thing that I wanted to revisit in my life as I reached my retirement age was my passion for decorating.

I promised myself that I was going to create a beautiful sun room as my first home improvement project to celebrate my prime years. I went to crate and barrel looking for ideas when I found this leather sofas San Antonio style made of black color. I knew that i had to purchase it and make it the centerpiece inspiration for my sun room. I wasn’t mistaken because three months after, that same leather sofas San Antonio is sitting in the center of my sun room with white faux fur cloth as its seat cover. I took my entire inspiration for  the renovation from the leather sofas San Antonio and i was happy that I did because leather chic was easier to channel with it being the focal piece of the room.

Outstanding Kitchen Lighting Solutions

When I decided to retire from 20 years of working in the textile industry I was so bent on renovating the house that I literally went into a decor rampage. My very first project was to remodel the kitchen. It had been in a state of antiquity,having the same rustic look since my great grandmothers, and I wanted to give it a face lift to bring it into the 20th century.

The first thing that went to my mind was how to set the mood for the kitchen area, ambiance was everything and It was imperative that I find the appropriate kitchen lighting solutions to fit my concept or the renovation would be failed.I did a lot of research until i stumbled on a really good website that offered several lighting fixture techniques and how to effectively play with lighting to get the desired mood or effect in a kitchen. I have to say that picking that first kitchen lighting fix really paved the way for a beautiful and elegant kitchen that I am seriously proud of. Every time I stare into the finished designs and accents for my new kitchen i still cant believe that I was all my doing.

The most romantic outdoor patio fireplace

For our 20th anniversary I decided to surprise my wife by creating a romance sanctuary in our backyard. It was the perfect timing because she had to go to her sisters for a couple of weeks and make it back just in time for our anniversary party, which gave me so much time to plan and figure out how to recapture the passion in our marriage my coming up with a romance boudoir.

I started with a beautiful backdrop, some trellises with roses ,a big day bed in the middle of a limestone and marble floor plan and of course to set the ultimate romance mood, a outdoor patio fireplace. I had to hire a professional contractor to get the job done in time but I have to say that It was all worth it especially when i saw the look in my wife’s eyes the first time she saw what I did to our patio. She said that at first she thought she got lost and stumbled into the neighbors house but after she saw me she knew that I went through so much trouble to make the romantic lounge for her. These days, the romance area is our favorite spot where we spend every night cuddling to a warm fire and gazing through the stars.

Be Prepared, Buy Student Health Insurance

When I decided to become a foreign student for college I was fortunate enough to gain entry to one of the most prestigious schools in Asia for my pre med degree. I thought everything was perfect because many things that were beyond my reach were now made available to me. The tuition was a small percent of what I would pay in an American school, the students were smart off the charts, the professors were truly brilliant and my accommodations were superb, i thought i was living in a five star condo.

I guess the one thing that I didn’t really prepare myself for was the advent of sickness especially during an emergency. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have good student health insurance when I accidentally ate a macadamia nut and went into anaphylactic shock. I am so thankful that my parents insisted that I get good coverage for my medical insurance, which was something i personally would have left out. It really does pay to have excellent medical coverage especially when you are living abroad and do not have family members or relatives to help out in the time of a medical crisis or emergency.