Around AD 1700, the Navajo Indians, still very prevalent today, came into the Utah area to stay. They were primarily near the San Juan River in southeastern Utah where they planted crops such as corn and squash and found pasture for their sheep and goats originally brought to the land by the Spaniards.
Since the Navajo were in Southern Utah, they decided to use the abundance of clay to make their dwellings, called hogans, which were made of logs and covered over with mud which would soon dry. The Navajo eventually became very adept at silversmithing, due to a Navajo named Atsidi Sani learning from a Mexican named Nakai Tsosi sometime around 1878.
from the Mexicans sometime around 1878. To this day, you will find much by way of Navajo silver and turquoise jewelry sold all over the Navajo Nation and in any place where the Navajo are prevalent. In addition to the famous silver work are the Navajo blankets and rugs, which are quite beautiful and distinct. In fact, a Navajo style design is still used very often on saddle blankets and saddle pads- I have ridden several thousand miles through the years with my saddle cinched down over top of a good Navajo blanket and I also have a larger Navajo blanket kept wrapped up in my bedroll.
Today, the Navajo maintain a general love for livestock and a decent horse to herd them. If you decide to travel from Zion National Park down to Grand Canyon National Park, you will be right in the very heart of Navajo country!