75 Traditional Navajo Indian Names and Meanings
If you can trace your ancestry back to a Native American tribe, you may want to choose a Native American name for your new baby. In this article, we rounded up a list of Navajo names and name meanings.
The Navajo Nation is currently the second-largest Native American tribe in the United States, after the Cherokee Nation. The next largest tribes are the Choctaw, the Sioux, the Chippewa, and the Apaches.
Related: 75 Native American Baby Names and Meanings
Navajo Baby Names for Girls (and Meanings)
Native American girl names are inspired by nature or powerful imagery. These baby girl names make beautiful first or middle names.
Popular names include Tallulah, which means leaping water, Chenoa, which means white dove, and Enola, which means magnolia. If you want some inspiration from history, also consider the name Pocahontas, which means playful.
- Aiyana: Navajo, forever flowering
- Ajei: Navajo, my heart
- Asdza: Navajo, woman
- Awee: Navajo, baby
- Bly: Navajo, high, exalted
- Chenoa: Navajo, white dove
- Chooli: Navajo, mountain
- Dibe: Navajo, lamb
- Doba: Navajo, peace
- Doli: Navajo, bluebird
- Enola: Navajo, magnolia
- Haloke: Navajo, salmon
- Halona: Navajo, fortune
- Haseya: Navajo, she rises
- Istas: Navajo, snow
- Makawee: Navajo, motherly, all-giving
- Malia: Native American, calm
- Milena: Native American, new moon
- Mosi: Navajo, cat
- Nino: Native American, fire, mightiness
- Nokomis: Chippewa, daughter of the moon
- Odina: Algonquin, mountain
- Olathe: Navajo, beautiful
- Pocahontas: Navajo, playful
- Sacajawea: Native American, bird-woman
- Sakari: Navajo, sweet
- Shysie: Navajo, quiet little one
- Sialea-lea: Navajo, little bluebird
- Tallulah: Navajo, leaping water
- Takoda: Navajo, friend
- Tayen: Navajo, new moon
- Tsintah: Navajo , forest-dweller
- Winona: Navajo, firstborn daughter
- Yanaha: Navajo, brave
Navajo Boy Names (and Meanings)
Boy names in the Navajo language represent animals or images of power. They are mostly two-syllable names, like Ashkii or Jacy, but there are also a few three-syllable choices, like Kosumi.
Popular names with animal meanings include Adriel, which means beaver, Chayton, which means falcon, and Mato, which means bear. Names with powerful denotations include Cochise, which means warrior chief, and Hashkeh Naabah, which means angry warrior.
- Adriel: Navajo, beaver
- Ashkii: Navajo, boy
- Atsa: Navajo, eagle
- Bidziil: Navajo, strength
- Cochise: Apache, renowned warrior chief
- Chayton: Navajo, falcon
- Dasan: Navajo, chief
- Elu: Navajo, graceful
- Gad: Navajo, juniper tree
- Hania: Navajo, spirit warrior
- Hashkeh Naabah: Navajo, angry warrior
- Jacy: Navajo, moon
- Klah: Navajo, left-handed
- Kele: Hopi, sparrow
- Keekuk: Navajo, watchful
- Kosumi: Navajo, salmon fisher
- Mato: Navajo, bear
- Nahele: Navajo, forest
- Nayati: Navajo, wrestler
- Nitis: Navajo, friend
- Paco: Navajo, eagle
- Sani: Navajo, old one
- Sahale: Navajo, exalted
- Seattle: Navajo , high-status man
- Shillah: Navajo, brother
- Sicheii: Navajo, grandfather
- Tahoma: Navajo, giver of water
- Tokala: Navajo, fox
- Tasela: Navajo, falling stars
- Tyee: Navajo, chief
- Wapi: Navajo, lucky
- Yas: Navajo, snow
Gender-Neutral Navajo Names (and Meanings)
The Navajo language has many unisex names that will work for both boys and girls.
One of the most popular gender-neutral Native American names is Kai. Kai is currently a top-100 name in the United States, according to US Social Security name database. Kai is a multi-cultural name. In the Navajo language, it means willow tree.
In Hawaiian, it means ocean, in Estonian, it means pure, and in Chinese, it means triumph.
Kai is also a name based in literature, having been used by author Hans Christian Andersen in his story, The Snow Queen, which served as the inspiration for the Disney movie Frozen.
Dakota has also been a common name in the United States, having been in the top 300 or 400 for over 20 years. This is presumably due to parents taking name inspiration from the state names North and South Dakota.
- Abedabun: Navajo, dawn
- Ahiga: Navajo , fighter
- Cheyenne: Sioux, people of a different language
- Dakota: Navajo , friend
- Kai: Navajo , willow tree
- Mika: Navajo, rabbit
- Onacona: Cherokee, white owl
- Simi: Navajo, valley of the wind
- Zuni: Native American, beauty
Brief History of the Navajo People
The Navajo tribe originated in the Southwest region of the country, primarily in what are now the states of Arizona and New Mexico.
The name Navajo was given to the tribe by Spanish missionaries and explorers. The tribe actually referred to themselves as the Dine. However, the Spanish adapted the Navajo word “navahu’u,” which means farm fields in the valley, and pronounced it “Navajo.”
The Navajos were hunter-gatherers who later became farmers. They farmed beans, corn, and squash, and herded sheep and goats. They were known as skilled weavers, and created beautiful baskets, blankets, and clothing.
The Navajo language is closely related to the Apache language, due to migration patterns and interactions between the two tribes. There are two main dialects and sign language.
In 1864, the Navajos were interned in New Mexico. They were forced to walk many miles without sufficient food, water, or hygiene. Many became ill and died. This period is referred to as The Long Walk.
If you are looking for more Navajo names or Native American baby names, check out our list of Native American names and origins.
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Elisa is a well-known parenting writer. She is an expert on child behavior and certified in Positive Discipline.