Native Americans - 3.Version - Referat
I want to talk about the Native Americans with a special look at the Navajos.
People usually have some strange ideas about Native Americans although most
of them have never met one. The medias like TV, films and cowboy stories have
spread a lot of prejudices and created a strange opinion about them.
Many white men think that Indians are lazy and unintelligent alcoholics.
They think that Indians love war, are bloodthirsty and that they are superstitious
and don't believe in God. They fought only when they had to defend themselves
or their land.
The arrival of European settlers in America threatened the existence of its
Indian rights, however, were only recognized after many years of war and conflict.
Today about 1.6 million Native Americans live in the USA. They belong to more
than 400 tribes. Half of them live in large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The other half live on reservations.
Many of them have not only learned to survive in the white man's world but have
also become successful Indian teachers, doctors, writers and sports stars.
The Indians are a very religious people who live close to nature.
For Native Americans life is religion.
They are excellent farmers who showed the first settlers how to grow and use many
They introduced Europeans to corn, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and tobacco.
Native Americans developed a hand signal system which all the tribes can under-
stand because each tribe speaks its own language.
The Navajo reservation is in the northeast corner of Arizona and it also covers parts
of Utah and New Mexico. It is the nation's largest reservation and it is almost as big
as Bavaria. They have a system of self-government.
The capital is called Window Rock. It looks like any other American town with
houses, schools, gas stations, fast food places and a movie theatre.
The scenery of this reservation is among the most beautiful ones in the USA with
impressing mountains, lakes, deserts, deep canyons and forests.
Traditionally, the Navajo don't like living in towns or villages. They prefer living
together with their relatives, scattered over all parts of the reservation.
Many Navajo people today live in normal American houses, but next to the house
you can often see a hogan. This is a traditional Navajo home. It has eight sides, and
the font door faces east, where the sun rises.
Few people live in hogans today, but they still use them for religious ceremonies.
Nature is the core of the Navajo religion.
In their religion their real mother is the Earth and their real father the Sky. They
are their most powerful teachers and must not be ignored. It sends warnings like
earthquakes, floods and illnesses.
The Navajo try to heal the damage they cause. They talk to the land, and look at
the water. They talk to the trees in the woods.
They talk to the animals and can understand the language.
The Navajo are worried because young people don't look and listen to nature
The Navajo reservation is one of the nation's poorest, with a huge unemployment
problem. Their land is dry and they don't have a lot of water. So it is not very good
for farming or keeping cattle.
They are also far away from the jobs in the big
cities and main industrial areas. That's why they have to find ways of creating
jobs on their reservation themselves. This is part of the work for the tribal govern-
All Navajo children go to school, either on the reservation or to a school outside.
In the reservation schools students are taught by both Indian and non-Indian teachers.
The Navajo also have a lot of respect for older people. That's why they sometimes
invite grandparents or the medicine man to teach the children about their tradition.
The Indian way of life, their tradition and culture is completely different to our way of
life but it is very interesting and worth looking at it.
Quelle: Englishbook, Workbook (Cornelsen)
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