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SW 3200: Cultural Diversity: Navajo

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Books--Religion and beliefs

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Touching the timeless


“Our way of life is our religion, and our teaching. If we are relocated by force, we will die slowly. The people would not be in balance with Mother Earth and Sky Father and the spiritual people. In every way, here we are connected to the land. We belong here.”
—Mary T. Begay, Navajo elder



Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures.....

Navajo Culture --all aspects of daily life (including religion, food, holidays, etc.)

Although many Navajo children are fond of hamburgers, pizza, fried chicken, French fries, and soft drinks, mutton stew and fry bread are favorite foods for many Navajos. No Navajo gathering is complete without one or more booths making

Navajo Fry Bread

4 cups flour (the modern standard is Bluebird brand milled wheat flour, though any brand will do—white flour makes lighter, fluffier breads)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup powdered milk
Warm water
Vegetable oil for frying

Sift dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and powdered milk) together into a large bowl. Stir in water a little at a time until dough is soft. Knead dough with hands until smooth. Cover bowl with cloth and let dough "rest" for about 2 hours Pat or roll 2" balls of dough into circles about 8 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick. Make a small hole in the center of each circle of dough with your finger. Pour vegetable oil in frying pan or electric skillet to a depth of about ½ inch. Heat oil to 400° (or until a small pinch of dough browns quickly but does not burn). Slide a circle of dough into hot oil—dough will puff up as it cooks. Turn bread over when top is golden brown and fry for one or two more minutes. Repeat with remaining breads. Serve hot, with honey or cinnamon-sugar, or just plain. Serves about 6 people.

(Recipe courtesy of the Navajo Nation Division of Education.)