DESCENT, LAND USE AND INHERITANCE: NAVAJO LAND TENURE PATTERNS IN CANYON DE CHELLY AND CANYON DEL MUERTO (ARIZONA).

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/188111
Title:
DESCENT, LAND USE AND INHERITANCE: NAVAJO LAND TENURE PATTERNS IN CANYON DE CHELLY AND CANYON DEL MUERTO (ARIZONA).
Author:
ANDREWS, TRACY JOAN.
Issue Date:
1985
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The development of and changes in human social organization have been a concern of anthropological research since the inception of the discipline. A perspective that focuses on the interaction between exogenous (ecological and historical) variables and social organization is argued for herein. This study tests the idea that inheritance patterns reflect both land use and sociohistorical factors. Further, it is suggested that after their move into the American Southwest, the inheritance of agricultural land was influential in the development, although not necessarily the origins, of matrilineality among the Navajo. Data were obtained on land tenure practices in Canyon de Chelly and its major tributary, Canyon del Muerto, historically important centers of Navajo agriculture. Detailed interviews with 93% of the Navajo families owning land in the canyons provided information on land use and inheritance patterns since the 1880s. Data from over 400 cases of land transfers were analyzed. Historical documents and archaeological studies also provided information on Navajo settlement patterns, changes in farming practices and environmental fluctuations since the mid-1700s. Within the past fifty years, and probably longer, topographic and physiographic differences between Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto have contributed to variations in land use within the canyon system. Ditch irrigated feed crops are now only grown in Canyon del Muerto, and they are commonly used by families involved in market oriented cattle ranching. Further, as a result of erosion problems, the production potential of some canyon areas, as well as the quantity of arable land, is declining. Not all families are able to meet the increasing need for labor and capital intensive practices that could maximize agricultural production on their canyon land, but it remains a highly valued resource. This research indicates that since the 1880s agricultural land in Canyon de Chelly has been transferred more frequently along matrilineal lines, and the explanations for the differences in land tenure patterns between the canyons over time relate both to ecological and socio-historical variables. In conclusion, it is argued that the complexity found within this canyon system reflects a heterogeneity common to any culture, but which anthropologists tend to overlook.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Navajo Indians -- Land tenure.; Indians of North America -- Land tenure -- Arizona.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Levy, Jerry
Committee Chair:
Levy, Jerry

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleDESCENT, LAND USE AND INHERITANCE: NAVAJO LAND TENURE PATTERNS IN CANYON DE CHELLY AND CANYON DEL MUERTO (ARIZONA).en_US
dc.creatorANDREWS, TRACY JOAN.en_US
dc.contributor.authorANDREWS, TRACY JOAN.en_US
dc.date.issued1985en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe development of and changes in human social organization have been a concern of anthropological research since the inception of the discipline. A perspective that focuses on the interaction between exogenous (ecological and historical) variables and social organization is argued for herein. This study tests the idea that inheritance patterns reflect both land use and sociohistorical factors. Further, it is suggested that after their move into the American Southwest, the inheritance of agricultural land was influential in the development, although not necessarily the origins, of matrilineality among the Navajo. Data were obtained on land tenure practices in Canyon de Chelly and its major tributary, Canyon del Muerto, historically important centers of Navajo agriculture. Detailed interviews with 93% of the Navajo families owning land in the canyons provided information on land use and inheritance patterns since the 1880s. Data from over 400 cases of land transfers were analyzed. Historical documents and archaeological studies also provided information on Navajo settlement patterns, changes in farming practices and environmental fluctuations since the mid-1700s. Within the past fifty years, and probably longer, topographic and physiographic differences between Canyon de Chelly and Canyon del Muerto have contributed to variations in land use within the canyon system. Ditch irrigated feed crops are now only grown in Canyon del Muerto, and they are commonly used by families involved in market oriented cattle ranching. Further, as a result of erosion problems, the production potential of some canyon areas, as well as the quantity of arable land, is declining. Not all families are able to meet the increasing need for labor and capital intensive practices that could maximize agricultural production on their canyon land, but it remains a highly valued resource. This research indicates that since the 1880s agricultural land in Canyon de Chelly has been transferred more frequently along matrilineal lines, and the explanations for the differences in land tenure patterns between the canyons over time relate both to ecological and socio-historical variables. In conclusion, it is argued that the complexity found within this canyon system reflects a heterogeneity common to any culture, but which anthropologists tend to overlook.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectNavajo Indians -- Land tenure.en_US
dc.subjectIndians of North America -- Land tenure -- Arizona.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorLevy, Jerryen_US
dc.contributor.chairLevy, Jerryen_US
dc.identifier.proquest8603333en_US
dc.identifier.oclc696804576en_US
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