Gertty Boone, Rocky Ridge, Arizona

“Navajo music is something that is really meaningful to me. I grew up in a household with a grandma and grandpa who are traditional so Navajo music was always playing, mostly for entertainment. Music traditionally for Navajo is to help treat illnesses or just for us to get through obstacles. It is pretty common to me because I listen literally every day. It’s something that heals us, for us to manage to get through many obstacles because the songs are from a really long time ago.

Navajo music has been here for centuries, and they tell many stories or they help me out mentally.

Navajo songs were created by the ancestors of the Navajo, which means they wrote the songs through a rough time. So knowing that the Navajo music has been passed through many generations helps me mentally because the generations before me may have been more troubled mentally or physically, so they made songs to help them. 

Navajo traditional music are songs that are prayers created by a particular person, who has the knowledge of the Navajo tradition, which means the individual would be called a medicine man. Only he or she would know how the songs work. Sacred songs that are used in ceremonies are sacred, which is pretty hard to explain, but the songs we Navajo people use are sacred, which means we rarely ever talk about traditional songs. 

Music means a lot of this to me. Traditionally, music is used for healing, but other music is for chilling or having fun! Both my parents and older siblings listen to various amounts of music! My father listens to hard rock, heavy metal, rock, and some country; my mother listens to rock, country, rap, hip hop, and alternative; my three older brothers listen to Navajo music, rap, hip hop, alternative, and rock; and my older sister listens to rap, R&B, and hip hop. So, my family listens to many genres, and I listen to every genre they listen to, but I just added Kpop to the many genres. From my point of view as the youngest, every song that was shown to me always struck a memory.”

— Gertty Boone, Rocky Ridge Arizona, member of the Navajo Nation

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