They eventually associated with a tribe, or extended family. Clan ties follow matrilineal blood lines among Native American Indians in the Southwest. Clans eventually grouped together to form tribes or nations. Many modern-day Native American Indians still have clan connections and obligations.
Clans play a vital role in our understanding of Anasazi culture. Clan oral histories, together with scientific data and archaeological discoveries, have helped us discover or validate who built particular Anasazi sites and where their descendants now live.
A tribe is a larger grouping of tribes, each of which is made up of families. The names we assign to ancient and modern tribes have different origins. Others are phonetic variants of Spanish or English words, while others are the original native word. Tesuque, for example, is a Spanish word that sounds similar to the tribal word Te-Tsu-Geh (pronounced Te-Tsu-Geh). The names of certain tribes are direct translations of native words. Some tribes refer to themselves as “The People” in their own language, and the Spanish term “Pueblo” is used to identify them. Other tribal names, such as Tewa, Towa, and Tiwa, or Keresan, are derived from the tribal language. Others, such as San Ildefonso, Santa Clara, and Fremont, are actually Spanish or English names that have little to do with the native culture.
With over 300,000 tribal members as of 2015[update], the Navajo Nation is the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States (the Cherokee Nation is the second largest). The Navajo Nation also has the country’s largest reservation. The reservation spans more than 27,000 square miles (70,000 square kilometers) of land in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, straddling the Four Corners area. The Navajo language is widely spoken in the region, and the majority of Navajo also speak English.
Diné bizaad (lit. ‘People’s language’) is a Na-Dené Southern Athabaskan language spoken by the Navajo. The word Navajo comes from Spanish missionaries and historians who used it to refer to the Pueblo Indians, even though they called themselves the Diné, which means “people.” [number four] The language is divided into two dialects that are mutually intelligible. The Apache and Navajo languages are closely related; both are thought to have originated from northwestern Canada and eastern Alaska, where the majority of Athabaskan speakers live.  Considering the geographic and linguistic distance between the languages, speakers of other Athabaskan languages in Canada may be able to understand the Navajo language.  Some Navajo also speak Navajo Sign Language, which is a dialect or a descendant of Plains Sign Speaking. Plains Sign Talk is also spoken by others. [nine]
The word “k’4,” which means “relationship,” is the best way to summarize the complexity of Navajo thinking about the world we live in. The creation tale is full of animate beings interacting with one another and creating patterns to direct the Navajo in proper action. There are forces inside rocks, rivers, trees, animals, and even diseases that can be prayed to for assistance. In the beginning, the clan system started to develop, eventually leading to the approximately ninety clans that exist today, each of which is an integral part of the tribe’s growing population. According to Perry Robinson, there is no need for any Navajo to feel lonely or sad because the people and their environment are filled with a variety of pleasant relationships.
My clan’s name is Edge Water, and I was born for Nakaii’dine. I was born and raised in Pinon, Arizona. In 1974, I graduated from Intermountain High School in Brigham City, Utah, and attended Utah State University for a year. I was drafted into the military. I served in the Marine Corps for four years. For many years, I worked in construction as a boilermaker and iron worker. I eventually returned to school to receive grandfathered counseling licenses as well as a certificate to practice conventional counseling-ceremony. As a traditional practitioner, I worked for the Navajo Nation for 25 years in mental health. Last year, I retired. Acted with UNHS for the first time. Currently, I work as a conventional consultant-practitioner.
Evangeline Parsons Yazzie, author of “Dine Bizaad Binahoo’aah: Rediscovering The Navajo Language” and Professor Emerita of Navajo at Northern Arizona University, said, “K’e is just a thought that is unifying among the list of Navajo individuals.”
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Kinyaa’aanii (The Towering House clan), Honaghaahnii (One-walks-around clan), Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water clan), and Hashtl’ishnii are the four original clans synonymous with Navajo people (Mud clan).
According to Grace Tracy, social liaison for Tsehootsooi clinic in Fort Defiance, Arizona, the clan system was changing women’s ways of asking Navajo people who they really are.
On the list of Navajo people today, there are more than 100 clans. Each clan, according to Tracy, comes from different parts of the Navajo country and has its own sense and tale.