Learn about Navajo Legends including, The Navajo Creation Story, The Blessingway and Navajo witches, called Skinwalkers.


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Navajo People

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The Diné, (Navajo) Language

When Altsé Hastiin, First Man, and Altsé Asdzáá, First Woman, climbed into this world, they recreated the mountains from the underworld. In the east, Altsé Hastiin and Altsé Asdzáá pinned Sisnaajiní to the earth with a bolt of lightning, and wrapped the heights with a sheet of dawn.

The Navajo Creation Story

The Navajo Creation Story tells of the creation of the universe and traces the evolution of life of the Navajos.

Navajo Creation Story Project

Dine (Navajo) Creation

In the south, they pegged Tsoodzil down with a ray of sunlight and covered the peak with blue sky.

To the west, they held Dook'o'ooslííd with a sunbeam and draped the snowy mountaintop with a yellow cloud; and to the north, they fastened Dibé Ntsaa to the earth with a rainbow and over the top, they placed a blanket of darknes.

The Blessingway

As opposed to the other Navajo [Diné] Chant Ways, which are used to effect a cure of a problem, the Blessingway [Hózhójí] is used to bless the "one sung over," to ensure good luck, good health and blessings for all that pertains to them.

Toneneli and Haschelti Navajo Legends

The Navajo Skinwalkers

Getting information about Navajo witches, called Skinwalkers, has been kind of difficult; Navajos do not talk about the powers of the dark side of their culture.

Tony Hillerman on Skinwalkers

Mystery! Skinwalkers . PBS



Kokopelli

Kokopelli is a prehistoric deity depicted hundreds of times in rock art, some of it over a thousand years old, located in numerous sites in southwestern United States deserts and mountains.

In ancient Indian legend, Kokopelli the flute player was the symbol of happiness and joy. He talked to the wind and the sky. His flute could be heard in the Spring breeze, bringing warmth after the winter cold.

Kokopelli embodies everything pure and spiritual about music. He was also thought of as a fertility god and traveling prankster. He would visit villages playing his flute, carrying his songs on his back. Everyone would sing and dance the night away. In the morning, when he left, the crops were plentiful and all the women were pregnant.

There are many stories of Kokopelli. One is that he is responsible for the end of winter and the coming of spring. Native American legend has it that when the Kokopelli comes playing his flute the Sun comes out, the snow melts, the green grass grows, the birds come out and begin to sing, and all the animals gather around to hear his songs. Kokopelli and his flute bring the Spring out of the Winter.

Navajo Taboos

Do not drink water after you eat fresh corn or you will still be empty and the rest of the corn will freeze.
Do not put corn in the water or it will cause a flood.
Do not blow on hot corn or you will lose your teeth before you are old.
Do not blow on corn pollen because you will get lung cancer or disease.
Do not run around while eating corn or it will choke you.
Do not eat twin ears of corn or you will have twins.
Do not leave the house while your husband is hunting or he will not have any luck.
Do not wash your hair while your husband is hunting or he will not get anything.
Do not throw deerskin or bones away because they are sacred and you will not have any luck hunting.