Rain/Moisture

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Changing Woman's gift to earth people from her home in the west are cloud, rain, pollen, and dew. Pg.43

The heroine of Beauty Way is put in charge of Cloud, rain, mist and vegetation for earth people. Pg. 43

Tying a toad in the garden is thought to bring rain. Pg. 43

Recognition of "meanness" as also been noted as a permanent attitude of First Man and Woman who send diseases By contrast Changing Woman has "no meanness left" in her and sends rain and other necessities for fertility. Pg.46

After completion of the ceremony the twins return to teach it to earth people and then depart to become guardians respectively of the thunder storm and of animals. Pg. 164, The Stricken Twins.


Navajo Chantway Myths, 1957; Katherine Spencer.

Equally distinct is the third section : two rain-making ceremonies which assume the well-known form of races. Pg. 140. The first half of Water Chant I is again an account of spring rain... The tests [contest] may be either demonstrations of Power, or conquests of difficulties.... also.. the recurrent intervention of sponsors on behalf of the hero. Several of these are rain-personalities: the rain-making Horned Toad; the Crane (Dethleh).. and the Gray Heron.. Pg. 142.

Hail Chant and Water Chant, 1946; Mary C. Wheelwright.

Song of the Rain Chant

The Navajo ceremonies are called "Chants." This is a song from the "Water, or Rain, Chant." The Navajos tell of the Male-Rain and of the Female-Rain. The Male-Rain is the Storm, with thunder and lightning; The Female-Rain is the gentle shower. The two Rains meet on the mountains, and from their union springs all vegetation upon the earth. The Rain-Mountain is a distant mountain west of Zuni, and it is the home of the Rain-Youth, one of the divine Beings. The Rain-Youth made the rain-songs and gave them to the Navajos. This song tells of him with the rain feathers in his hair, coming with the rain, down from the Rain-Mountain, through the corn, amid the song of swallows chirping with joy of the rain, and through the pollen which covers him, so that the Rain-Youth himself is hidden, and only a mist is seen, The Navajos say that it is well to be covered with holy pollen, for such pollen is an emblem of peace.

Far as man can see, Through the pollen,
Comes the rain, Through the pollen blest,
Comes the rain with me. All in pollen hidden
Comes the rain,
From the Rain-Mount, Comes the rain with me.
Rain-Mount far away,
Comes the rain,
Comes the rain with me. Far as man can see
Comes the rain,
O'er the corn, Comes the rain with me.
O'er the corn, tall corn,
Comes the rain,
Comes the rain with me.

`Mid the lightnings,
`Mid the lightning zigzag,
`Mid the lightning flashing,
Comes the rain,
Comes the rain with me.

`Mid the swallows.
`Mid the swallows blue
Chirping glad together,
Comes the rain,
Comes the rain with me.

From The Indians book; Recorded and Edited by Natalie Curtis, Pgs. 365,366.

Navaho mythology also personifies various natural phenomena, the clouds, winds, fog or mist, rain, thunder and lightning. The abode of these divinities is in the four skies above whence they visit the earth inflicting disaster upon its inhabitants. They are usually distinguished by color, sex being attributed only to the rain. In this manner they are also invoked in prayer and song, and sacrifices and prayersticks made for each individual deity. Pg. 45

The rainbow is frequently represented in colored sand paintings and ceremonial paraphernalia, and on the shield. The "trails" of the divinities are usually represented as made of various kinds of rainbow. Pg. 46

the hogan is generally built some distance from the water supply to insure its purity. The Navaho in general are inexperienced swimmers and usually steer clear of water. Pg. 49

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

The connection of Mah-ih (Coyote) with fertility, rain and water is clearly established in the myth of the Coyote Chant. The story begins in the ocean. The first people are created by Estsan-ah-tlehay, Changing Woman, the great mother who can grow old and then young again as she chooses. She is a Nature figure, symbolic of the changes of the seasons. She is bathing in a great white shell and she dries herself with finely powdered meal of white corn and of yellow corn. When she empties the shell into the sea, the water, fog, corn and sacred shell come together, and people are formed. There are two kinds of people. The first part of the myth establishes their differences in nature and destiny. The White Corn People embody masculinity, spirituality, the sky, and are destined to originate the Bead Chant. The Yellow Corn People represent the female principle, fertility, the earth, the rainbow and Coyote. They are to bring agriculture and the Coyote Chant to mankind.
The clues to these differences seem unmistakable. In Navaho ritual poetry there is usually a balance of complementary concepts. It is often a two-part balance in which male symbols dominate the first half and female symbols the second: Pollen Boy - Pollen Girl; male rain - female rain; and white corn - yellow corn. Coyote often represents the power of sex in its trouble-making ungovernable aspect. The rainbow is a symbol of fertile rain. The leader of the White Corn People dreams of a sky world and the leader of the Yellow Corn People dreams of walking on earth surrounded by rainbows. He also dreams that he will be of the Coyote family. The differences of the two families are shown in the ceremonial names given to their leaders when they disagree. The White Corn leaders' name refers to vomit, ceremonial purification, in a sense to the rejection of earthly things. The Yellow Corn leader's name is "He-whose-stomach-trembles-with-hunger." This is fitting for the people who are to bring forth from the earth man's first security against hunger.
As in the myth of the Great Star Chant, these people are living at a hunting and gathering subsistence level. They must wander continually in search of game and wild fruits. In both myths there is a place named for the piles of hair heaped up where the people scrape hides in order to make clothes. When the two families separate we follow the fortunes of the Yellow Corn, or Coyote, People. They are no sooner on their own than their leader begins to show signs of strangeness. He appears in various forms, creates land-marks which are to be sacred places hereafter, and finally reveals that he has given himself to the Holy People and that this family is to bring the Coyote Chant to the world, with his help. After this, in the form of Talking God, he disappears into the rock wall of Canyon de Chelly (Tsehgih). Pg. 103

The Great Star Chant; 1956, Mary C. Wheelwright.

The Man's Rain, represented by the Sun, is the violent thunderstorm which drives the seed into the ground. The Woman's Rain is the gentle rain that nurtures the soil and brings forth the crops. It is represented by Changing Woman.

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

Again we may be misled into jumping to conclusion concerning the character of certain supernaturals or their functions when we read for the first time that someone, let us say Coyote, "will have charge of dark cloud, heavy rain, dark mist, gentle rain, and vegetation of all kinds." It seems a lot when we consider how thoroughly Coyote is despised. Then we find that, at a time when his power was requested and he obdurately refused, the gods offered to put him in charge of darkness, daylight, heavy rain, gentle rain, corn, vegetation of all kinds, thunder, and the rainbow, and he accepted. This list is not too different from the first, and at least concerns the same individual. Continuing the analysis of mythology we find that Frog, who was beaten in a race by Rainboy, was recompensed for the loss of his body by the return of his fee, legs, and gait, and by being put in charge of `dark cloud, heavy (male) rain, dark mist, gentle rain, and holiness wherever they may be'; and further, that Rainboy, after initiation, was put in charge of `heavy and gentle rain, snow, and ice.' By this time we may well ask, "Who is in charge of rain?," for Changing Woman too has charge of female rain and vegetation of all kinds. We must, therefore, conclude that despite the precise specification, these promises are stereotyped, signifying, "We shall give you our best if you will help us"; in other words, they are actually a rationalization or systemization. No particular being is in charge of rain, because one is dependent upon another.

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