The story of how the Navajo clans came to be.
(Changing Woman) established the first four clans: Kiiyaa'áanii (Towering House), Honágháahnii (One Who walks Around You), Tó Dích'íi'nii (Bitter Water), and Hashtl'ishnii (Mud). The four clans settled inside the area bounded by the four sacred mountains.


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Navajo People

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Changing Woman

The Navajo people have a kinship system that follows the lineage of the women.

After the four original clans were established by Changing Woman , women who came into the tribe's membership either brought a clan name with them, or were assigned a clan on acceptance into the tribe.

Some were existing clans from other tribes, while others were created out of circumstance.

Navajo Clans Today

Today, the total number of clans represented is calculated in to be over one hundred and forty, from twenty-one major groups.

K'é—the Navajo kinship system—is the strength of the People. It keeps the Navajo people together.

Navajo is a matrilineal and matrilocal society. Each Navajo belongs to four different, unrelated clans.

He or she belongs to his or her mother's clan. He or she is born for his or her father's clan. He or she has maternal and paternal grandfathers' clans.

Traditionally, the People were forbidden to marry into the first two clans; today they are still strongly discouraged from doing so. K'é also extends to the natural world and the gods. The People are always among relatives.

Navajo Clan Finder
Enter the four clans for two different people and this site will find any relationships.

Navajo Clans -
A list of all Navajo Clans, spelled in Navajo, with its English meaning.