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Most people would say that Navajo (Dine') and the different Apache (Inde'- "inday") groups are all cousin languages and cultures of a sort. I would say they are about as far apart as perhaps Spanish and Italian. In other words, many basic words are the same or similar but others are not. Words like rock (tse), water (to'), I (shi) are very close. Depending on how you want to divide them up they are about seven language groups in the Southern Athabascan language family, Navajo and six Apache languages; Plains Apache, Western Apache, Mescalero, Chiricahua, Jicarilla and Lipan.

They all have the same 33 consonants, 4 vowels, the vowels can be short or long (not how we mean in English but rather said for a longer/shorter time), can be nasalized or not, and are tonal with high, low , rising and falling.

The grammar is similar too. Called :" fusional, polysynthetic, nominative-accusative head-marking languages". The word order is Subject Object Verb. Words are modified primarily by prefixes. Verbs are most important. The grammar is very complex compared to English.

They are all related in language, but not really in culture, to the rest of the Athabascan languages which are in Canada and Alaska. For example the vowel in the word for "cloud" k(k'os) changes from "o" to "a"

For traditional Navajo and Apache they have, of course, different creation stories. Culturally, the Navajo are perhaps the most different in historic times, They grew corn in bigger permanent fields and lived in Hogans. After they got sheep and horses, sheep and weaving became very important to them too. Most of the Apache groups lived in less permanent houses and depended on hunting more and corn growing less. But there were large differences in some groups for example the Plains Apache and the Lipan lived near and almost just like the Kiowa, a plains Indian culture, hunting buffalo. Others were mainly desert hunter gatherers.

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The Navajo and Apache are originally from from northwestern Canada and eastern Alaska entering the Southwest by 1400 CE. Both groups are Athabaskan speakers as are the Dene First Nations, who live near from Tadoule Lake in Manitoba to the Great Slave Lake in Canada'sNorthwest Territories.

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Q: Is there a relationship between the Navajo Indians and the Apache Indians?
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The Navajo and Apache are the largest tribal units.

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