Monument Valley State Park Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by Yaqui
  • Local Customs
    by Yaqui
  • Local Customs
    by Yaqui

Most Recent Local Customs in Monument Valley State Park

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    No Alcohol Permitted

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 31, 2013

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    Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are prohibited. Navojo Tribal Rangers are responsible for enforcing all applicable Federal and Tribal Regulations within the park boundaries.

    Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
    P.O. Box 360289
    Monument Valley, UT 84536
    tel: 435.727.5870
    fax: 435.727.5875

    From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S. Highway 89 north, 67 miles to U.S. Highway 160. Continue northeast on Route 160 for 62 miles to Kayenta, AZ. Monument Valley is 22 miles north of Kayenta Arizona, along U.S. Highway 163.

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    Photography Etiquette

    by Yaqui Updated Oct 31, 2013

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    Photography for personal use is allowed, but please ask for permission of Dine residence and their property. A gratuity is expected. Commerical photography requires a permit from the Department of Broadcast Services.

    Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Scenic Drive Hours (Hours may change)
    Summer (May-Sept) 6:00am - 8:30pm
    Winter (Oct - Apr) 8:00am - 4:30pm

    Camping and entry fees change, so check with the tribal visitor center first.

    Monument Valley UT 84536

    From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S. Highway 89 north, 67 miles to U.S. Highway 160. Continue northeast on Route 160 for 62 miles to Kayenta, AZ. Monument Valley is 22 miles north of Kayenta Arizona, along U.S. Highway 163.

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    Listen to the Radio

    by giampiero6 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A scene in Monument

    One of the most interesting experiences in the US is listening to the various radio broadcasts over diffenent language and cultural groups. It was a great free bonus for us to listen to the Navajo language broadcasts while we were in the area. They were a mix of country western music in navajo, and english...traditional music in navajo and a whole mix of annoucements and community service. Very interesting and a great experience if you're curious about the local culture beyond tourist shops etc. We even heard some great songs like "midnight rodeo' etc.

    try:
    KTNN AM 660
    KWRK 96.1 FM

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    Native Hogan

    by toonsarah Written Mar 18, 2010

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    Ceremonial Hogan

    The Hogan is the traditional home of the Navajo, and is also the structure used for their ceremonial buildings. In the past it was made of sticks and earth, and was round in shape, but now is most commonly made of logs and consequently has to have straight sides – usually eight of them.

    According to Navajo stories, the first Hogan was built by Coyote with help from beavers to be a house for First Man, First Woman, and Talking God. The people distinguish between the so-called “male” Hogan, which is smaller with a vestibule and is used for religious purposes, and the larger “female” Hogan which is used as the family home. Whatever its purpose, the door of a Hogan always faces east, towards the rising sun.

    We were fortunate to be taken to visit a family Hogan while on our tour of Monument Valley. Our guide John introduced us to his cousin and her children, who lived there, and they welcomed us inside and explained a bit about their home – how the single large room was cooking, living and eating space, each area demarcated only by its furnishings. Nearby was a smaller male ceremonial Hogan which you can see in my photo.

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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    Reservation land

    by toonsarah Written Mar 18, 2010

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    Navajo girls in front of Merrick Butte

    Monument Valley may be a State Park, but access is rather more restricted than is usual in such places and this can be frustrating for some visitors. But consider this – the park is also part of the Navajo Indian Reservation and is home to many families. Historically these people have been poorly treated, forced to leave land that had been their home for many generations and live in exile. Nowadays they can live again in their traditional homelands, but we too have discovered these desert lands and can’t get enough of their beauty. The Navajo welcome us; partly I am sure because they are glad of the income we bring them, but also because they want to share the wonders of their lands with us. If they prefer to keep some parts unspoiled and more private, who are we to begrudge them this? So please enjoy everything that is here to be enjoyed – the drive, the tours, some hiking or horse-riding. And leave the rest of the land to the people whose home it is.

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Respect Privacy & Customs

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 31, 2008

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    Please respect the privacy of residence. Do not enter areas unless you have been invited.

    Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park Scenic Drive Hours
    Summer (May-Sept) 6:00am - 8:30pm
    Winter (Oct - Apr) 8:00am - 4:30pm

    Camping fees - $10/night plus Entryfees $5/person
    General Admission - $5.00
    Ages 9 or under - Free

    Monument Valley UT 84536

    From Flagstaff, AZ, take U.S. Highway 89 north, 67 miles to U.S. Highway 160. Continue northeast on Route 160 for 62 miles to Kayenta, AZ. Monument Valley is 22 miles north of Kayenta Arizona, along U.S. Highway 163.

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Sweat lodge – sweat bath

    by Trekki Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    sweat lodge - somewhere in Central Valley

    Where water is precious, you can’t take your daily bath or shower. Navajo use sweat lodges or sweat huts for cleaning. It is more or less a similar principle as a sauna, but it is much more for them than only cleaning. It is a ceremonial as well, for purifying and cleansing body and mind if something evil has touched one. Sweat lodges help to get back into harmony – hózhóní.
    The heat comes from a stone, which is heated outside and then put inside on the floor, from time to time sprinkled with water.

    In the picture, you can see the sweat lodge in the middle – with the piles of logwood.

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    Hogans - the traditional houses

    by Trekki Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    Three Sisters and a traditional (female) hogan

    A lot of Navajo families still live in hogans, their traditional homes. Hogan simply means “home place” in Navajo language.
    There are two types, male and female one – symbolizing the balance of the two opposites in life. Male ones are cone-shaped, with a tunnel-like entrance. They are the place where e.g. curing ceremonies are held (inside and outside).
    The female one is bigger, octagonal in shape. It needs to be bigger as this is the place for the family, for cooking, for gathering and for the ceremonies for the children.
    The doors of hogans always face east – as this is the place where is is custom to greet Father Sky at the first light of dawn.

    Traditionally, hogans are built of cedar or pine logs, and then covered with clay or mud. This is perfect insulation for the hot summers and the cold winters. Floors are left earthen, and a hole is left in the roof as a smoke pipe. This symbolizes the constant contact with Mother Earth and Father Sky.
    2 stones are placed left and right of the entrance in the ground, to support the entrance and to symbolize proper building of the hogan.
    Whenever a hogan is newly built, ceremonies are done to bless it – either long ceremonies with the help of hatalii or medicine men or only with the owner, who spreads corn pollen to the 4 sacred poits – east, south, west, north (clockwise).

    Several traditions and behaviours apply for hogans – if you enter, women move north (right hand) within it (where the kitchen stands), men move south (left hand). The northern place is reserved for the elders or other honoured persons.
    Certain taboos are involved with hogans as well – if someone dies inside of a hogan, it becomes uninhabitable forever. A hole is done in the northern wall to give the spirit of the deceased the possibility to leave and don’t come back to molest the living. So when you see a hogan with a hole in the north wall, don’t be surprised if a Navajo will try to avoid coming near it.
    In the picture you can see a female hogan on the left side.

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Respect Navajo culture and tradition

    by Trekki Updated Jan 7, 2006

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    inside Monument Valley

    Remember, you are visiting a place where people still live their daily lives, and remember how you would feel if people sneak in your garden, taking pictures here and there and entering your house without asking permission.
    Here are some do’s and don’ts, I have learned from Navajos to be respected please:
    ·* when driving or hiking – stay on the designated trails – the soil, which is essential for the vegetation on Monument Valley (and thus food for the sheep) needs hundred of years to recover;
    * respect Navajo settlers’ privacy – don’t disturb their property, don’t take pictures without their permission;
    * don’t just knock on a door and enter without permission – if you want to visit someone, stand some meters away from the house and wait – if the inhabitants want to see or receive you, they will open the door. But they need that little extra time to get prepared for that;
    * don’t stare directly into someone’s eyes – that’s improperly and not polite;
    * do not mention names of dead persons – this brings evil;
    * do not unneccesary use hars words or swear – bad words have the power to kill;
    * if you want to take pictures, this is usually allowed – but please ask for permission prior to get the picture.

    Thanks !

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Being respectful in Navajoland

    by goodfish Written Jul 28, 2005

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    Monument Valley is home to the Navajo people and visitors are asked to please respect their privacy. There are sacred sites within the valley that they wish not to be visited by non-tribal members, and those that are fragile and need to be protected. Guided tours will take you to the sites they wish for you to see plus give you the historical background of the park.

    You are also asked please not to photograph the Navajo people or their homes without asking first. If permission is granted, a gratuity is expected.

    While welcome to shoot all the pictures you wish to of the landscape, they can only be for personal use. Commercial photography requires a permit (contact the Department of Broadcast Services of the Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona).

    Sale or consumption of alcohol is prohibited on tribal land. If used discreetly, in your hotel room, you will probably be OK but be aware of the law and use common sense.

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    Navajo Nation rules

    by frank_delargy Written Nov 8, 2004

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    Navajo Nation

    Rules and Regulations

    In accordance with the Resources Committee Land Use Policies, a camping fee will be charged of $5 per person, per night. In addition a backcountry use permit is required for hiking. The backcountry permit fee is $5 per person. (NOTE: there is no longer a group fee.)
    Stay on designated trails and routes. Cutting switch backs damages trails and causes erosion and destruction of soil composition. It can takes 100 years for soil and vegetation to recover from human impact.
    A permit is required for fishing any lakes or streams, and also for hunting for game on land under the jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation.
    Respect the privacy and customs of the Navajo people. Do not wander across residential areas or disturb property. Obtain permission before taking pictures of the Navajo people.
    Whatever your pack into the wilderness, you must carry out. Nothing should be left buried or burned. Substances such as food scraps and garbage will take years to decompose. Also, wildfires can be started by burning trash.
    Pets are allowed ONLY if on a leash at all times. The backcountry is pone range for livestock.
    Navajo Tribal Code Title 17, Section 1451, prohibits the use of firearms.
    The Navajo Nation is not responsible for any injuries, accidents, or thefts of personal property during your visit.
    Fires are permitted only in grills, fireplaces, or similar control devices. No open range ground fires. There is always a danger of wildfires.
    Do not disturb or remove animals, plants, rocks or artifacts. Tribal Antiquity and federal laws are in effect. Special permits are required from the Navajo Minerals Department and Natural Heritage Program to collect rocks or plants.
    Consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs are prohibited.

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    The Navajo, constitute the...

    by Nobbe Written Aug 24, 2002

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    The Navajo, constitute the largest American Indian tribe in the United States; they numbered about 162,500 in 1981. Their principal reservation covers more than 62,000 sq km (24,000 sq mi) in northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Utah. After the Anglo-Americans took possession of the Southwest most of the Navajo were rounded up by militiamen under Col. Kit Carson and sent to detention for 4 years at Fort Sumner, N.Mex. In 1868 a treaty was concluded with the Navajo, in which they agreed to settle on a reservation in their former homeland. They then numbered about 9,000. The Navajo are considered to possess one of the best-preserved native American cultures in North America.

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