Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site - Navajo People

Navajo People

When the Navajos returned form The Long Walk in 1868, they found their herds decimated, their fields destroyed. Their way of life had been ripped apart and things could never be as they had been before. The Navajos were troubled by economic depression in the late 19th century as a result of the Long Walk. Thus, trade became increasingly important.

Heavy sandstones from the area were quarried in 1883 to begin construction of this solid building along the southern banks of the Pueblo Colorado Wash. Life at Hubbell Trading Post centered around it. The idea of trading was not new to the Navajos. Native American tribes in the Southwest had traded amongst themselves for centuries. During the four years internment at Bosque Redondo, Navajos were introduced to many new items (e.g., flour, sugar, coffee, baking powder, canned goods, tobacco, tools, cloth, etc.). When the Anglos came to trade with the Navajos the difference was in the products exchanged, and in the changes brought about by the exchanges. Traders like Hubbell supplied these items.

Trade with men like Hubbell became increasingly important for the Navajos. The trader was in contact with the world outside the newly created reservation; a world which could supply the staples the Navajos needed to supplement their homegrown products. In exchange for the trader's goods the Navajos traded wool, sheep, and later on rugs, jewelry, baskets, and pottery. It was years before cash was used between trader and Navajos.

Hubbell family members operated this trading post until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1967. The trading post is still active, and operated by the non-profit organization, Western National Parks Association, which maintains the trading traditions the Hubbell family established.

Today, Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is still situated on the original 160-acre (65 ha) homestead, which includes the trading post, family home, out buildings, land and a visitor center. Visitors can experience this historic trading post on the Navajo Nation, which includes weaving demonstrations and the store still maintains a wooden floor and walls from the days of old. A set of initials carved on the gate of the privacy wall which separates the public spaces from the private stand for John Lorenzo Hubbell.

Read more about this topic:  Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

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