is the traditional homeland of the Navajo
tribe of Native Americans
. In the Navajo language, the word means "among the people" or "among the Navajo" (diné
is the Navajo word that refers to the Navajo people; it also means "people" in the generic sense). In the geographical sense, Dinétah encompasses a large area of northwestern New Mexico
, southwestern Colorado
, southeastern Utah
, and northeastern Arizona
. The exact boundaries are unclear, and are generally marked by mountain peaks which correspond to the four cardinal directions.
Geography and topography
The Dinétah region is marked by high mesas and deep canyons that drain to the San Juan River
. The canyons of the area are composed of irregular layers of sandstone, marked by multiple benches and talus slopes. Elevations average approximately 5,000 to 6,500 feet, with a few mountain peaks rising to more than 14,000 feet.
The traditional boundary of the land is demarcated by four mountains: Blanca Peak
to the east, Mount Taylor
to the south, the San Francisco Peaks
to the west, and Hesperus Peak
to the north.
The Navajo regard Dinétah as their ancestral homeland. The traditional Navajo creation story centers on the area, and Navajo place names within the region reflect its role in Navajo mythology
While Dinétah generally refers to a large geographical area, the heart of the region is regarded to be the canyons of the Largo and Carrizo washes, south of the......