Navaho Indian Clans

    The tribe is divided into a number of clans, 51 clan names having been recorded, but the number of existing clans may be somewhat more or less. Two of these are said to be extinct, and others nearly so. The clans are grouped in phratries. Some authorities give 8 of these, others 11, with 3 independent clans; but the phratries does not seem to be a well-defined group among the Navaho. Descent is in the female line; a man belongs to the clan of his mother, and when he marries must take a woman of some other clan. The social position of the women is high and their influence great. They often possess much property in their own right, which marriage does not alienate from them.   
     The clans, so far as known, are as follows:

Aatsosni, Narrow gorgeTheshtshini, Red streak
Ashihi, Salt;Thildzhehi; Thkhaneza, Among the scattered (hills)
Bithani, Folded armsThkhapaha, Among the waters
Dsihlnaothihlni, Encircled mountainThkatshini, Among the Red (waters or banks)
Dsihlthani, Brow of the mountainThobazhnaazh, Two come for water
Dsihltlani, Base of the mountain Thochalsithaya, Water under the sitting frog
Kai, WillowsThoditshini, Bitter water
Kanani, Living arrowsThokhani, Beside the water
Khaltso, Yellow bodiesThodhokongzhi, Saline water
Khashhlizhni, MudThotsoni, Great water
Khaskankhatso, Much yuccaThoyetlini, Junction of the rivers
Khoghanhlani, Many hutsTlastshini, Red flat
Khonagani, Place of walkingTlizihlani, Many goats
Kinaani, High standing houseTsayiskithni, Sagebrush hill
Kinhlitshi, Red house (of stone)Tsezhinkini, House of the black cliffs
Klogi, Name of an old puebloTsenahapihlni, Overhanging rocks
Loka, Reeds (phragmites)Tsetheshkizhni, Rocky pass
Maitheshkizh, Coyote pass (Jemez)Tsethkhani, Among the rocks
Maitho, Coyote springTsetlani, Bend in a canyon
Naai, MonoclineTseyanathoni, horizontal water under cliffs
Nakai, White stranger (Mexican)Tseyikeite, Rocks standing near one another
Nakhopani, Brown streak, horizontal on the groundTsezhinthiai, Trap dyke
Nanashthezhin, Black horizontal stripe aliens (Zuñi)Tsinazhini, Black horizontal forest
Notha, UteTsinsakathni, Lone tree
Pinbitho, Deer springYoo, Beads

The books presented are for their historical value only and are not the opinions of the Webmasters of the site.   Handbook of American Indians, 1906

Index of Tribes or Nations


Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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