Navaho Indian Clans

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    The tribe is divided into a number of clans, 51 clan names having been recorded, but the number of existing clans may be somewhat more or less. Two of these are said to be extinct, and others nearly so. The clans are grouped in phratries. Some authorities give 8 of these, others 11, with 3 independent clans; but the phratries does not seem to be a well-defined group among the Navaho. Descent is in the female line; a man belongs to the clan of his mother, and when he marries must take a woman of some other clan. The social position of the women is high and their influence great. They often possess much property in their own right, which marriage does not alienate from them.   
     The clans, so far as known, are as follows:

Aatsosni, Narrow gorge Theshtshini, Red streak
Ashihi, Salt; Thildzhehi; Thkhaneza, Among the scattered (hills)
Bithani, Folded arms Thkhapaha, Among the waters
Dsihlnaothihlni, Encircled mountain Thkatshini, Among the Red (waters or banks)
Dsihlthani, Brow of the mountain Thobazhnaazh, Two come for water
Dsihltlani, Base of the mountain  Thochalsithaya, Water under the sitting frog
Kai, Willows Thoditshini, Bitter water
Kanani, Living arrows Thokhani, Beside the water
Khaltso, Yellow bodies Thodhokongzhi, Saline water
Khashhlizhni, Mud Thotsoni, Great water
Khaskankhatso, Much yucca Thoyetlini, Junction of the rivers
Khoghanhlani, Many huts Tlastshini, Red flat
Khonagani, Place of walking Tlizihlani, Many goats
Kinaani, High standing house Tsayiskithni, Sagebrush hill
Kinhlitshi, Red house (of stone) Tsezhinkini, House of the black cliffs
Klogi, Name of an old pueblo Tsenahapihlni, Overhanging rocks
Loka, Reeds (phragmites) Tsetheshkizhni, Rocky pass
Maitheshkizh, Coyote pass (Jemez) Tsethkhani, Among the rocks
Maitho, Coyote spring Tsetlani, Bend in a canyon
Naai, Monocline Tseyanathoni, horizontal water under cliffs
Nakai, White stranger (Mexican) Tseyikeite, Rocks standing near one another
Nakhopani, Brown streak, horizontal on the ground Tsezhinthiai, Trap dyke
Nanashthezhin, Black horizontal stripe aliens (Zuñi) Tsinazhini, Black horizontal forest
Notha, Ute Tsinsakathni, Lone tree
Pinbitho, Deer spring Yoo, Beads

The books presented are for their historical value only and are not the opinions of the Webmasters of the site.   Handbook of American Indians, 1906

Index of Tribes or Nations

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 17 December 2014. - Last updated on Oct 28th, 2013


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