Navajo Culture & Striking Landscapes Journeys
Cliff dwellings, rock art & Navajo life
Backcountry adventures, campfire circle, rodeos, trading posts
Rural hogans-ranch sites, grazing sheep & roaming horses
Sedona area pre-trip earth-spirit experiences.
Guided Journeys to Navajo Lands, 2 to 4 days
In depth background knowledge is provided by Sandra Cosentino, owner-operator of Crossing Worlds, enroute along with reference packet. She creates a bridge so you enter this ancient world effortlessly, naturally, in a meaningful way. Sandra is native to Arizona, a former teacher and tribal professional staff member. But more importantly, she has a passion and feeling for the land and cultures and long years of sharing friendship with Native peoples that weaves together the natural and human history into the story of our life here and now. We hope you will go home inspired and touched by your adventure into another country so different from our daily life!
2017 Scheduled Programs
tours can be arranged at other dates–see some of the experiences available below
These can be created for your group at other times of the year.
Sedona Earth-Spirit Pre-trip options: For those interested in earth-spirit ways such as, energies of nature, honoring ways to connect with Mother Earth, noticing signs in nature, mystic insight experiences, learning core principles of ceremony and participating in a drum healing ceremonial experience, these can be arranged prior to your trip onto Navajo lands. These cross-cultural earth-spirit experiences can deepen your understandings while you are out in these amazing vistas experiencing the Native worldview.
Independent Traveler Journey option
Special Journeys can be arranged for your family or small group as an independent traveler experience that begins with an in depth seminar in Sedona area based on Sandra Cosentino’s lifetime of experience with the lands, cultures and sacred sites and earth energies on your own and with wise, reliable Native hosts.
Then you head out with maps, reference packet, CD with regional songs, stories to meet Native guides and also explore on your own. For people confident they can follow map directions and be adaptable and flexible–not available during stormy winter months as this is high altitude driving at elevations of 5,000 -7,000 feet.
Please email with your goals, time frame and destinations to set up a customized experience for you.
Some of the experiences available:
Experience Navajo peoples, lands and culture in the Chinle, Black Rock, Tsaile and Window Rock, Tuba City, Shiprock, Crown Point areas–heart of the Navajo Reservation today, hear their stories and songs and feel their blessings and experience this dynamic earth-based culture with roots in ancient tradition. Learn about Navajo cosmology, history, migration to this land and long interactions with Ancestral Puebloans and Hopi lands (Navajo surrounds the Hopi Reservation).
|Canyon de Chelly (see more below and on this CDC page)
–Rim views into Canyon de Chelly cliff dwelling site
–Navajo weaver’s hogan in the Black Rock area where she will share her craft and woman’s wisdom with us
–sandpainting demonstration and fire blessing
–campfire circle with song and dance
–Navajo cook-out dinner (learn to make Navajo tortillas)
|—Window Rock, the Navajo nation capitol, Ft. Defiance historic site|
|—Historic trading post behind the scenes in Gallup and other sites for seeing how the pawn trade still exists as a banking system and learn more about the diversity of Navajo arts|
|—Visit special fairs available 4th of July (fireworks), and during the September-October season–it is a great experience to go to these with your own Navajo guide! Rodeo, pow wow, traditional song and dance. 3rd week of Oct. is a great chance for Hopi and Navajo fairs, dance and cultural journey.|
|—Monument Valley (a Navajo tribal park) and Kayenta, nearby Navajo community.|
||—Tuba City, adjacent to the eastern side of Hopi. Options to go with a Navajo hostess to a hogan, to her home for Navajo meal, to community locale for a personalized feel of Navajo family and community life in one of the 5 Navajo service-center cities. Navajo pow wow dancing could be arranged. There are dinosaur footprints, a section of painted desert, and Ancestral Puebloan rock art nearby.|
|—Shiprock, New Mexico striking volcanic formation, agricultural community on the San Juan river and near to many Ancestral Puebloan prehistoric sites. For the adventuring can go over a mountain road from Arizona to New Mexico.
Shiprock: Tsé Bitʼaʼí, “rock with wings” or “winged rock” from their legend of the great bird that brought the Navajo from the north to their present lands.
|—Crown Point, New Mexico, is enroute to Chaco Canyon Historical Park, and site of monthly Navajo rug auction.|
As you drive across the Navajo Nation, which is the size of West Virginia, you view the rural life with clusters of extended family homes, hogans, sheep corrals and grazing sheep with their guard dog and wondering horses. Navajo people are very hardy and adapted to life out on wide open lands.
Canyon de Chelly: Cliff Dwellings, Rock Art and Navajo Culture
You will feel the spirit of adventure and discovery as you jeep ride with a Navajo guide through this roadless, sandy, red-walled canyon famous for its beauty and the concentration of cliff dwellings and rock art of the ancestral pueblo people from 400 BC to 1300 AD.
The heart of the Navajo Reservation today, we will see Navajo hogans and livestock, hear their stories and songs and feel their blessings around the campfire, and experience this dynamic earth-based culture with roots in ancient tradition.
Gaze into the depths of the canyon from spectacular rim views.
Hike to a cliff dwelling on a trail winding down, down the canyon side every turn revealing new nuances of reds, swirling formations studded with green cedars and walls rising above you silhouetted against impossibly brilliantly blue sky.
–private jeep tour 3 hours to all day customized to your interests
–weaving demonstration and talk about women’s role in Navajo life
–horseback ride in canyon
–backcountry drive on gravel road north of the canyon to weaver’s hogan for weaving demonstration and cultural talk
–cook out dinner
–overnight camping in canyon with Navajo guide
–for groups can arrange for Navajo dancers
Words about your guide:
“Sandra comes in a good way to the Canyon–she listens to the wind, the air, the water to be real close to Mother Earth. She likes it, wants to be with it and can be a healer to other people. She is reliable, we work together as a team.”
Daniel, Navajo Leader
Weaving the Web of Life
“To walk (live) in beauty and to die naturally of old age is the Navajo notion of the good life. Weaving offers Navajo women the chance to be active participants in the generation and expression of beauty. To be able to create and experience the universal theme over and over again–each time in a unique way–is certainly an exercise that builds self-esteem and enhances self-expression.”
(quote from Tension and Harmony: the Navajo Rug,
Plateau magazine of the Museum of Northern Arizona,, 1981)
I asked weaver, Winnie Henry, what advice she might offer to people. “I advise women to weave together the pieces of your own life. Remember that interwoven with the mind are meditation and thoughts. Find something to look forward to–a permanent goal–and go get it. When you make a mistake, correct it. Life is like a menu, you have to mix all kinds of ingredients to stay strong. If you get too perfect, you are in heaven already. Once you find yourself and open the door, you know when to come home.”
see article: Weaving Life in the Dine World in Spirit of Southwest Blog