Navajo Sheep: Sheep is Life

music
ambience: sheep baaing

The culture of the Navajo people is closely intertwined with the well-being of their sheep — but it wasn’t always this way. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Twenty-five years ago, the Navajo-Churro sheep was almost extinct. Thanks to the efforts of scientists and breeders who recognized its significance, raising Churro is again what it once was — a way of life for the Navajo people. Lena Benally breeds Churro sheep.

“Having sheep is life. Without it, you know, there’s no life for the Navajo people. So I’m one of the people that got back into raising Churro because I felt that you know it plays an important part in my whole life and my family. It keeps the family bond together. And the family comes every other weekend with their kids, and we kind of, you know, help each other plan what we’re going do in the years to come. We always like to plan how we’re going to upgrade our breeding standards and our Navajo Churros. We’re kind of real close-knit family, and we’re always there to help each other. And my dad is a hundred years old. And, and he’s still, you know, goes out and hang around the sheep corral and try to help you and he’s, I guess he says the sheep is making him more strong, especially the Churro sheep. Sheep is life. So it comes from the Navajo word Dine bi’ iina’, and I said sheep is life to me. Without it, I said, I don’t know where I’ll be.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

Navajo Sheep: Sheep is Life

Churro sheep are deeply revered in the Navajo culture.
Air Date:08/22/2003
Scientist:
Transcript:


music
ambience: sheep baaing

The culture of the Navajo people is closely intertwined with the well-being of their sheep -- but it wasn't always this way. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Twenty-five years ago, the Navajo-Churro sheep was almost extinct. Thanks to the efforts of scientists and breeders who recognized its significance, raising Churro is again what it once was -- a way of life for the Navajo people. Lena Benally breeds Churro sheep.

"Having sheep is life. Without it, you know, there's no life for the Navajo people. So I'm one of the people that got back into raising Churro because I felt that you know it plays an important part in my whole life and my family. It keeps the family bond together. And the family comes every other weekend with their kids, and we kind of, you know, help each other plan what we're going do in the years to come. We always like to plan how we're going to upgrade our breeding standards and our Navajo Churros. We're kind of real close-knit family, and we're always there to help each other. And my dad is a hundred years old. And, and he's still, you know, goes out and hang around the sheep corral and try to help you and he's, I guess he says the sheep is making him more strong, especially the Churro sheep. Sheep is life. So it comes from the Navajo word Dine bi' iina', and I said sheep is life to me. Without it, I said, I don't know where I'll be."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation with additional support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. I'm Jim Metzner.

music