Plants

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There is a certain kind of plant, 85 with pretty flowers, that attracts both moths and butterflies. They fall dead if they light on it. Pg 153
85 - Informants note: His father showed this plant to him. It was large and covered with many flowers of different shades of purple color. Around it lay dead moths and butterflies.
Recorder's note: The Hopi call it the butterfly flower because it attracts them. The Navajo name is chil aghani, poison weed.
Franciscan Fathers (1912, p. 72) : chil agha' ni, killing plant, fatal to flies, moths, etc. Pg. 153

The Beggar's son in the coyote's skin turned to the East and lay that night under a cedar tree. 81 He ate the berries of the cedar tree. The second night he traveled to the South and he laid under the bush called kin jilth ie', 82 and he ate its berries. The third night he went to the West and he stayed under an iron bush. 83 Its berries are called maida to this day because he ate them. He traveled to the North on the fourth day, and he lay under a wild-rose bush 84 that night, and he ate its berries.
81- Informant's note: The berries of the cedar tree are called dit tse.
82- Franciscan Fathers (1910, p. 198) : kinjil' ahi, currant, Purshia tridentata.
83- Franciscan Fathers (1910, p. 198) : ma' ida, coyote food, or iron bush, the wild cherry, Prunus dimissa.
84- Franciscan Fathers (1910, p. 197) : cho, or chu, the wild rose, Rosa fendleri.


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

Vegetable Life. The sacred mountains had been given their positions by First Man when he invited the various Peoples to contribute to the completion and beauty of the earth. Accordingly, the various animals planted the seeds of trees, shrubs, plants and grasses, which they had brought with them from the lower worlds. Thereupon, First Man breathed upon them so that they, too, might see and live. The clouds, winds and thunder were placed on the sky (yadilqil) so that moisture might be supplied and vegetation secured. Pg. 353

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

.... built corrals and dikes, dug irrigation ditches, and flooded his fields. As soon as this water sank into the ground and the seeds had been blessed, he would start the spring planting. It was the Navajo custom to plant the seeds in the fairly deep holes which would not soon dry out. The man of the family walked ahead and made the holes with the "planting stick," his wife followed close behind with a blanket full of seeds and dropped a handful into each hole, then brushed earth over them with her foot. The yield was thought to be greater when the seeds were planted by a woman. Pg. 64

Hosteen Klah, Navajo Medicine Man and Sand Painter; 1964, Franc Johnson Newcomb.

Cactus (xoc) (P) is closely related to Wind and Cloud, as indicated by many details, especially the sandpaintings of the Wind Chant, though its character is not clear. Cactus, mentioned rarely in the Shooting and Hail chants, is only an incidental symbol. When Monster Slayer was injured by the White Weasel People, he was helped by a quartet of Holy People who had transformed themselves into Spiny Cacti.
In the Flint Chant, cactus is associated with flint (Kluckhohn-Wyman, Fig. 16, 17; many paintings in the Bush Collection; Reichard, Shooting Chant ms.; Haile 1943a, p. 167).

Navajo Religion, Vol II; Gladys A. Reichard, 1950

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