Origin of Objects


The First World was small in size, a floating island in mist or water. On it there grew one tree, a pine tree, which was later brought to the present world for firewood. Pg. 2

The Dine': Origin Myths of the Navajo Indians, 1956; Aileen O'Bryan.

Cedar: This ancient tree is used for burning and ceremonials. Its berries have been used against many contagious diseases, and the needles, made into ash and mixed with water, are used as a dye. Cedar smoke often smudges the air in Southwestern Indian ceremonies, the boughs are cut and made into ceremonial dwellings, places for chanting and healing, as well as for shade from the sun. Pg. 191

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

In their legends they tell of Yei tso, a big, strong and mighty giant, the greatest and fiercest of all the alien gods, whose father is said to have been a stone. "About 40 miles to the northeast of the top of Mt. San Mateo," says Dr. Matthews, in Navajo Legends, note 138, page 234, "there is a dark, high, volcanic hill, called by the Mexicans, El Cabezon, or the Great Head. This is the object which, according to the Navaho storytellers, was the head of Yei tso." Petrified wood is still called by the Navaho, yei bits'in; yei, or giant's bones, and the numerous lava flows of New Mexico are called yei bidil, or giant's blood. Pg. 29

An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navaho Language; 1910, The Franciscan Fathers.

The Utes are Plains Indians with whom the Navajos often came in contact, traded, intermarried, and fought. Their country formed the northern border of Navajo land. Once on the other side of the San Juan River, the Navajo was in enemy territory. Shiprock, standing high on the plains, is like a sign that the Navajo is safe within his own country. Pgs. 61-62

Sitting on the Blue-Eyed Bear, Navajo Myths and Legends; 1975, Gerald Hausman.