The Most Famous Navajo Indian: An Exploration of Prominent Figures in Navajo History

Choose the Navajo Indian you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 15, 2024 07:13
Dive into the rich tapestry of Navajo history and culture as you participate in our latest interactive ranking - "Who is the most famous Navajo Indian?" Here at StrawPoll, we've compiled a list of remarkable Navajo individuals who have left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. From valiant warriors to masterful artisans, these luminaries have shaped the course of history, and now it's your turn to cast a vote for your favorite! Unravel the vivid stories of these iconic personalities, and if you feel someone's missing from our ranking, don't hesitate to suggest their name. Let's embark on a journey of enlightenment and appreciation together, as we explore the legacies of these unforgettable Navajo legends. Cast your vote now and join the conversation!

Who Is the Most Famous Navajo Indian?

  1. 1
    Jim Thorpe
    Photo by and (c)2008 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man) · GFDL 1.2

    Jim Thorpe

    Founded by Asa Packer
    Although not exclusively Navajo, Jim Thorpe is considered the greatest athlete of the 20th century and was of Navajo descent. He won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon and was also a professional football and baseball player.
    Jim Thorpe is a picturesque borough located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It is often referred to as the 'Switzerland of America' due to its remarkable natural beauty and charming architecture. Nestled between scenic mountains and the Lehigh River, Jim Thorpe offers a unique blend of small-town charm and outdoor adventure.
    • Nickname: Switzerland of America
    • Location: Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
    • Scenic Beauty: Surrounded by mountains and the Lehigh River
    • Architecture: Victorian-style buildings and historic structures
    • Outdoor Activities: Hiking, biking, white water rafting, and more
    Jim Thorpe in other rankings
  2. 2
    Manuelito was a prominent Navajo chief and leader during the 19th century. He is known for his efforts to resist the forced relocation of the Navajo people by the U.S. government.
  3. 3
    Chester Nez
    Brian Leddy · Public domain
    Chester Nez was one of the original Navajo code talkers who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He helped develop a secret code based on the Navajo language that was used to transmit messages during the war.
  4. 4
    Barboncito was another prominent Navajo chief who resisted the forced relocation of his people. He signed the Treaty of Bosque Redondo, which ended the Navajo Wars, but later led his people back to their homeland.
  5. 5
    Annie Dodge Wauneka was a Navajo leader and health care advocate who served on the Navajo Tribal Council for over 30 years. She worked to improve health care and education for the Navajo people.
  6. 6
    Peter MacDonald was a Navajo code talker and also served as the Chairman of the Navajo Nation for over 20 years. He worked to improve the economic and social conditions of the Navajo people.
  7. 7
    R. Carlos Nakai is a Navajo-Ute musician who is considered one of the world's premier performers of the Native American flute. He has recorded over 50 albums and has received numerous awards for his music.
  8. 8
    Tony Hillerman was a best-selling author who wrote detective novels set in the Navajo Nation. He was awarded numerous literary awards and was also a professor of journalism at the University of New Mexico.
    Tony Hillerman in other rankings
  9. 9
    Harrison Begay was a Navajo artist who is known for his paintings and prints depicting Navajo life and culture. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1998 for his contributions to American art.
  10. 10
    Navajo Joe is a fictional character from the 1966 spaghetti Western film of the same name. Although not a real person, Navajo Joe is often cited as an example of the positive representation of Native Americans in popular culture.

Missing your favorite Navajo Indian?


Ranking factors for famous Navajo Indian

  1. Cultural Influence
    The level of influence the individual has had on the Navajo culture and their contributions to preserving and promoting Navajo traditions, language, arts, and customs.
  2. Historical Significance
    The individual's role in Navajo history, especially if they have played a crucial role in shaping events, advocating for Native American rights, or achieving significant milestones.
  3. Recognition and Awards
    The extent to which the individual has been recognized and honored for their contributions, such as receiving prestigious awards, academic accolades, or being appointed to important positions.
  4. Artistic or Creative Achievements
    Consideration of their impact in fields such as literature, visual arts, crafts, music, dance, or film, and whether their work has gained national or international acclaim.
  5. Activism and Advocacy
    Their involvement in activities aimed at improving the lives and rights of Navajo people, including activism, political engagement, or community development initiatives.
  6. Popularity and Public Recognition
    The public's awareness and recognition of the individual, as evidenced by media coverage, social media following, or public appearances.
  7. Overall Legacy
    The enduring impact and lasting influence the individual has had on the Navajo Nation and their community, as well as their contribution to indigenous cultures and Native American identity as a whole.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Navajo Indian. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Navajo is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 199 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Navajo once every 24 hours. The rank of each Navajo is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous navajo indian

The Navajo Nation is the largest Native American tribe in the United States, with a population of over 300,000. The Navajo people have a rich history and culture, with a deep connection to their land and traditions. From weaving intricate textiles to practicing traditional ceremonies, their customs have been passed down through generations. In recent years, Navajo individuals have gained recognition in various fields, from politics to entertainment. Many have become household names, but who is the most famous Navajo Indian? Let's explore some of the notable figures from this vibrant culture.

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