Navajo Mythology is a system of beliefs that is enormously rich and expressive as well as complex with many tales. Navajo
mythologyis based on the recognition that all of the stories find a place within several major eras of sacred history, a history which took place "in the beginning." Stories are passed down generation to generation orally and provide the foundation of Navajo life and thought. [cite book
last = Gill| first = Sam D. | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Songs of Life: An Introduction to Navajo Religious Culture | publisher =
Brill Publishers| date = 1979 | location = | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn =9004060243 ]
The Navajo creation story centers on the area known as the
Dinetah, the traditional homelandof the Navajo people. This creation mythforms the basis for the traditional Navajo way of life. The basic outline of the Navajo creation myth begins with the Holy Supreme Wind being created, the mists of lights which arose through the darkness to animate and bring purpose to the myriad Holy People, supernatural and sacred in the different three lower worlds. All these things were spiritually created in the time before the earthexisted and the physical aspect of humans did not exist yet, but the spiritual did.
In the first world the
insectpeople started fighting with one another and were instructed by the Holy People to depart. They journeyed to the second world and lived for a time in peace, but eventually they fought with each other and were instructed to depart. In the third world the same thing happened again and they were forced to journey to the fourth world. In the fourth world, they found the Hopiliving there and succeeded in not fighting with one another or their neighbors, and their bodies were transformed from insect forms to humanforms. Eventually, however, they fought with each other again, and again were instructed to depart.
First Woman and First Man physically appear here formed from ears of white and yellow
corn, but they were also created back in the beginning. There is a separation of maleand femalehumans because each did not appreciate the contributions of the other, and this laid the groundwork for the appearance of the Monsters that would start to kill off the people in the next world.
Coyote also appears and steals the baby of Water Monster, who brings a great flood in the third world which primarily forces the humans as well as Holy People to journey to the surface of the fifth world through a hollow reed. Some things are left behind and some things are brought to help the people re-create the world each time they enter a new one. Death and the Monsters are born into this world, as is Changing Woman, who gives birth to the Hero Twins called "Monster Slayer" and "Child of the Waters" who had many adventures in which they helped to rid the world of much evil. Earth Surface People, mortals, were created in the fourth world, and the gods gave them ceremonies which are still practiced today.
Aspects of creation
Below are a few of the many aspects (representations) of creation that formulate the traditional Navajo way of life.
* Haashch’ééłti’í "Speechless Talking One, Talking God"
* Haashch’éoghan "House God, Calling God, Growling God"
AhsonnutliReference appears to be Asdzaa Nadleeh = Changing Woman
Bikeh Hozho"His/their beautiful voice?"
To' nenili("water sprinkler")
The Navajo oral folklore warns of the “Time of the End”. They are expecting a New Faith to come to them, like the dawn. Only a few people who are in anticipation of the event and ready will be aware of it in the beginning. As time goes on more people will see it and eventually the whole earth. The Navajo chant explains the two signs of the new Spirit: 1.) Nine-pointed Star that will come from the East and unite all mankind and countries with love. 2.) A great chief from the east will have on a headdress with twelve feathers. Every feather symbolizes a spiritual principle which he will teach. [ [http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/profecias/esp_profecia01h2.htm American Prophecy - 2 ] ] Excerpt from The Navajo Unity Chant:
In the Day of Unity you will walk in beauty; the beauty will walk before you; the beauty will walk behind you; you will be surrounded by beauty. Through the beautiful teachings of a new Prophet of God, these meanings will become very clear. Man himself in this Age has found many ways to create beauty. With these beautiful things we must now have beautiful minds. With beautiful minds we will have beautiful hearts. With beautiful hearts we will talk in beauty. The speech of all men will be in beauty... Those who speak with beautiful speech will lead the world to beauty... The center of this beautiful speech comes from a Holy Mountain...[ [http://www.rexresearch.com/usa/usaproph.htm Robert A. Nelson: American Prophecy ] ]
Navajo dwellings, called
hogans, are sacred and constructed to symbolize their land: the four posts represent the sacred mountains, the floor is mother earth, and the dome-like roof is father sky.
Four Sacred Mountains
The Navajo religion is distinct in that it must be practiced in a particular geographical area, known as the
Dinetah(the traditional Navajo homeland). Navajo people believe that the Holy People instructed them never to leave the land between four sacred mountains located in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.
To the south is Mount Taylor; to the west are the
San Francisco Peaks; to the east is Blanca Peak, and to the north is Hesperus Peak. There is a sacred object and a color representing each of the four cardinal directions. To the east is the white morning sky; its precious stone is white shell. To the south is blue and turquoise. To the west is yellow, and the corresponding stone is yellow abalone. To the north is black and jet.Robert S. McPherson, "Sacred Land, Sacred View: Navajo Perceptions of the Four Corners Region", Brigham Young University, ISBN 1-56085-008-6.]
Fifth World (Native American mythology)
* The four principal Sacred Mountains of the Navajo:
** Mount Taylor ("Tsoodził")
San Francisco Peaks("Dook'o'oosłííd")
Hesperus Peak("Dibé Ntsaa")
* Salmonson, Jessica Amanda. "The Encyclopedia of Amazons". Paragon House, 1991, p. 255. ISBN 1-55778-420-5
* Zolbrod, Paul G. "Diné bahané: The Navajo Creation Story". Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984.
* [http://www.indians.org/welker/dineway.htm Holy Wind & Natural Law]
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/nav/index.htm Internet Sacred Text Archive: Navajo index]
* [http://www.xpressweb.com/zionpark/index3.html Nava BANANASjo Religion]
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