People/Diversity


Big Star Chant: There will always be different kinds of people in the world and we must make the best of it. Pg. 46

Big Star makes peace between them with instructions that neither should return to the wife and the admonition that there will always be different kinds of people in the world snake, coyote, star people and that "they must make the best of it." Pg. 126, Big Star Way.

Navajo Chantway Myths, 1957; Katherine Spencer.

Once, in hearing two conflicting presentations of the same origin tale, I asked why they were not the same. The answer, according to one storyteller, was that "not everyone has the same mind, or the same thought." I have also heard it said:"Not everyone who listens hears the same words." Pgs. 69, 70

After this, all the Animal People came up. Lion, Deer, Antelope (these are now the Pueblo people, the Ute people and the Apache people) also came. Two people who came up had arrows in their hands:One went to the sun and the other went to the moon. There were four white-faced people who came up (these are the White people of today) and they were riding upon a rainbow. They went away, but they said they would return one day and teach what they knew to the others. Pgs. 78, 79

The Gift of the Gila Monster, Navajo Ceremonial Tales; 1993, Gerald Hausman.

The Anglo metaphor that equates people's beginnings with their "roots" also exists in Navajo: the correct way to begin in Navajo culture is with one's roots, whether it is working from the feet upward for ceremonial procedures, or stating one's mother's clan and one's father's clan as a means of introducing oneself. It is only by establishing a deeply rooted foundation that people have strength and stability; if their roots are too shallow they fall over in the wind like a corn plant without sufficient root structure (here we see another aspect of the metaphor that equates the corn plant with human life). People's roots must go back into an established family structure and deep into the earth, connecting each individual to all other living beings and to the earth itself. Pgs. 193-94

Earth is my Mother, Sky is my Father:Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting; 1992, Trudy Griffen-Pierce.

Meanwhile the gods reached the cave, and they had to use ladders to reach down to the Hahheenah-dinneh or Emergence people and bring them up to the surface of the earth. So the people came out onto this earth, and were very glad to leave the cave as they had been there a long time, and had been much worried about what was going to become of them. The little ants were the first to come out, and the turkey people were the last, and Hashjeshjin (the Fire God) counted them as they came out. The gods told them that they had made a beautiful world and that it was quite safe and they answered:"We are glad." Begochiddy then said to the gods that all people in the future should have different languages and the gods agreed to this. They divided all the clothing so that each people should have a certain share, and the beasts also could choose which tribe they should join. The Navahos took the best seed of the corn while the Pueblos and Zuni took the poorer seeds. The birds chose their tribes, but only the turkey people chose to go with the Navahos. Estsan-ah-tlehay, the Changing Woman, took the turkeys and held them in her arms.
Begochiddy and the gods said to the people:"You are all going to have different languages now, live differently, and do your hair in different ways." The Navajos did their hair in a queue and the other tribes cut their across the front, and this is the way they do it to this day. They told the birds how they were to live and build their nests and they all agreed to do as they were told. Then Begochiddy told the people how they were to worship. They must beep the prayer stick or ceremonial Kehtahns holy, and they must place pollen and flint and shell beads and turquoise and medicine near the Kehtahns when they pray, and Begochiddy will hear them and answer their prayers. Pgs. 106-107

Navajo Creation Myth, The Story of the Emergence; 1942, Mary C. Wheelwright.

The chanter Klah believed that a people different from the Navajo would succeed them. He thought the whites were the successors and for this reason was not only willing to teach them the fundamentals of Navajo belief but also deeply concerned that they should learn accurately.