The red shirts! The red shirts!
Image Credit: Tyrell Descheny
"Bí éé' łichii! Bí éé' łichii!" – The red shirts! The red shirts!"
That is what was shouted as the Kit Carson and the U.S Army marched and rode into Navajo lands. Once the first sight of white man stepped onto Navajo soil, multiple individuals both ran and rode in different directions. Some rode to the mountains, others ran into the canyons, and the rest to mesa's. Spreading word of the arrival of Kit Carson and his army.
From the time Kit Carson stepped on Navajo land, it was an era that blackened the entire land within the 6 sacred mountains. For many years, they attempted to round up every single Navajo they could find and capture. Multiple times they failed. Some families fled to the north, to hide among the Paiutes. Others fled to the nearby mountains. Some went as far as Apache lands.
For the rest who stayed and resisted, the Navajo's time of greatness fell. They were brought to their knees when they began burning fields of crops, cutting down apple and peach trees, and slaughtering animals.
With aching hearts, the Navajo people gave themselves up, but they did not surrender. This was the time of the Long Walk, over 300 miles they marched to Bosque Redondo, located in New Mexico. There they spent 4 years in prison.
When they had arrived, they were placed in the poorest conditioned area. Their enemies were also taken there but they claimed the richer lands before the Navajo's. From 1864 to 1868, they maintained their way of life the best way they could. They were finally released on June 1, 1868.
There are many stories that have been passed down generation to generation about this era, along with the families who walked and endured the hardship of the United States.
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YOU ARE ON INDIGENOUS LAND
Welcome to #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth. The first thing you need to know is that our history isn't over. We are still here! Learn More about Navajo heritage