The Navajo Nation’s Capital: Window Rock

Window Rock is located about 27 miles northwest of Gallup, N.M., and about 6 miles southeast of Fort Defiance, Arizona, it is just across the New Mexico-Arizona state line, on the Arizona side, in Apache County.

From the parking lot, tiny silhouettes of people can be seen hiking within the window taking in the view.

Window Rock or Tségháhoodzání in Navajo meaning “rock-with-hole-in-it,”  is the seat of government and capital of the Navajo Nation, the largest territory of a sovereign Native American nation in North America. Window Rock is comprised of the Navajo Nation Council, the Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park and the Navajo Nation World War II Memorial.

Window Rock in Arizona. (Photo/Kendra Yost)

A Veterans Memorial sits at the base of Window Rock to honor the many Navajos who served in the U. S. military.  Navajo soldiers are recognized for their role as Code Talkers, whereby they used the Navajo language to create a code that was never broken by the enemy.

Historians credit the Navajo Code Talkers for aiding in the victory of World War II.

Until 1936, the area was barely populated and known only by its ceremonial name Niʼ Ałníiʼgi meaning “Center of the World”. The site was chosen by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to establish the seat of the Navajo Central Agency.

Legendary Navajo Code Talkers Memorial at Window Rock in Arizona. (Photo/Kendra Yost)

Tségháhoodzání meaningThe Performated Rock is adjacent and north of the Navajo Service administration buildings and significant in the Water Way Ceremony (Tóhee). It was one of the four places where Navajo medicine men go with their woven water bottles to get water for the ceremony that is held for abundant rain.

Legendary Navajo Code Talkers Memorial at Window Rock in Arizona. Names of Navajo Code Talkers are carved into bricks. (Photo/Kendra Yost)

Haystacks or Tséta’cheéch’ih (Wind Going Through the Rocks) are scattered around the vicinity 1 mile south of the Navajo capital. The rocks formations resemble haystacks.


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