Friendship and happiness in navajos (Bik’éí diné baa’ hózhó)

Angela A.A. Willeto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Friendship and happiness research on Indigenous People of the USA, including Navajos, are scarce as most of the scholarship orients on negative elements of their lives. This chapter aims to address this gap by taking a broad approach in investigating the available scholarship on the topic as it applies to the Navajo. This is accomplished by reviewing some of the classic works on Navajos, exploring the historical record (treaty language), and Navajo biographies in order to extract what has been written about friendship and happiness among Navajos. Additionally, an analysis of Navajo lifeways, including discussion on socio-cultural elements of Navajo life such as traditional epistemology, philosophy, and language provides the traditional Navajo perspective on friendship and happiness. Although, the Navajo worldview emphasizes familial relationships, examples of friendship in social and ceremonial life are discussed. Then, the findings on the limited amount of scholarship are reported, showing that friendship primarily demonstrates an adverse effect in the lives of Navajos. Finally, the chapter concludes by considering the effect of social changes and by stating the need for empirical studies to directly examine the impact of friendship on the happiness of the Navajo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFriendship and Happiness
Subtitle of host publicationAcross The Life-Span and Cultures
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9789401796033
ISBN (Print)9789401796026
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Navajo friends
  • Navajo friendship
  • Navajo happiness
  • Navajo indians
  • Navajo nation
  • Navajo worldview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Friendship and happiness in navajos (Bik’éí diné baa’ hózhó)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this