Even during the Nineteenth Century the Navajo treatment of their women was strikingly different from that of most other tribes. This equality was close to the women's rights doctrine of today. The marriage ceremony was simply eating a meal together, and divorce was just as easy. The goods were divided equally with the children going with the mother. Free love went along with women's rights. None of the women were chaste, and venereal disease was always a problem.
A Navajo man would never make a bargain without consulting his wife or wives, and they never struck their women. Because of being treated well, Navajo women were better looking than the average women of other tribes, and consequently were coveted by the slave traders. Their main deity is a woman, who assists the Navajo after death to fight his way through the evil spirits and get across the great water barrier to the other side. She will not do this unless they have treated their women well.
Next: How the Navajo death beliefs affected the Code Talkers during the WWII.