|Did you know that the Navajo Nation encompasses 27,000 square miles of land? Of 298,000 Navajo’s living in the U.S., 179,000 live in the Navajo Nation here in Arizona.
We stayed another day here so we could tour the Navajo Museum and WWII Navajo Code Talkers Museum located here next to the RV park.
The first building you come to is the Trading Post. Originally established in 1875, the building here is from 1906. Outside is a small walkway with informational boards and a replica of a Navajo Hogan (house). I wish I could tell you all that was on the walkway boards, but I did take a few photos of a few of them. Some of the information was quite shocking as some of the Indian atrocities lasted until 2004.
Inside the Trading Post is an amazing display of Navajo Indian craftsmanship. From dream catchers, to beautiful blankets and incredible turquoise and silver jewelry (some over $1500.00), books, shirts, boots, hats…you name it. We enjoyed “window” shopping, that’s for sure. Had a hard time keeping my wallet in my purse, but I managed…did I say $1500.00?
Behind the Trading Post is the Navajo Indian Code Talkers Museum. These men served in the Pacific Arena such as…Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and the Philippines. In 1942 the 1st all Indian, all Navajo platoon in the United States Marines was formed. There were 29 members who were organized into the 382nd Platoon. Later on, another 370 Navajos joined the ranks of Code Talkers during WWII. With their unique language they developed a code that was never deciphered. Major Howard M. Conner stated “Were it not for the Navajo’s, the Marines would never had taken Iwo Jima….the entire Operation was directed by Navajo code.” Sadly, it wasn’t until the 1960’s before these brave men received recognition for their help in winning the war in the Pacific.
Next door was the Navajo Interactive Museum. Shaped round, like a Hogan, the building had just one large room with a side room to see a 10 minute video explaining the 4 worlds of the Navajo Indians. Once inside the museum you are greeted by an array of colors and beautiful artifacts. Some of the reader boards explain the hardships of the Indians throughout the years. We stayed inside for quite some time as there were so many things to absorb and marvel at.
It was a wonderful day, one that we will always remember. How amazing the Navajo people are!
See you all tomorrow!