The Diné (Navajo) Hózhó Lifeway: A Focused Ethnography on Intergenerational Understanding of American Indian Cultural Wisdom

Michelle Kahn-John, Terry Badger, Marylyn Morris McEwen, Mary Koithan, Denise Saint Arnault, Tara M. Chico-Jarillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: Hózhó is the cultural wisdom that guides the Diné lifeway. This study examines understanding of cultural wisdom (CW) across three generations: elders, adults, and adolescents. Method: A focused ethnography was conducted on the Navajo Nation. Twenty-two Diné (Navajo) were recruited through convenience sampling. Data were collected via two semistructured interviews and photovoice methods. Data were analyzed using content analysis, thematic analysis, and participatory visual analysis of photos. Results: The Diné elders embodied the greatest in-depth understanding of CW followed by the adolescents. An unexpected finding was the scarcity of understanding of CW among the adults. Conclusion: The Diné understanding of CW is transferred through discussion with elders, listening to and speaking traditional language, cultural preservation activities, and participation in cultural practices. The Diné believe cultural wisdom is a health sustaining protective factor, therefore strategies to restore, promote, and support the intergenerational transfer of cultural wisdom remains a tribal priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Transcultural Nursing
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • American Indian
  • Hózhó
  • Navajo
  • photovoice
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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