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Navajo, sometimes spelled Navaho, is both the name of a large Native American nation surrounding the Four Corners region of the Southwestern United States and the name for its people. The Navajo are closely related to the Apache. The Hopi live on an indian reservation within the Navajo reservation (Navajo Nation). Navajo call themselves Diné, a term from the Navajo language meaning people.

The Navajo language is itself of some interest: Due to its high complexity, it was used as a form of cryptography by the US military in the second world war (see codetalkers). Navajo has several difficult consonants and consonant clusters. It is tonal; vowels have high or low tone, and if long can it also rise or fall. Tone is indicated in writing by an acute accent; nasality is indicated by a mark under the vowel.

A few Navaho (and Hopi) live on the Colorado River Indian Tribes reservation along the Colorado River in western Arizona.

According to the 2000 census, about one third of all Native Americans in Arizona now live in either Phoenix or Tucson. As of 2000, there were over 253,000 Navajo on the tribal rolls. The reports 131,166 Navajo residing in Arizona, with 17,512 living in Maricopa County (Phoenix and vicinity).

See also: Mohave

Further Reading