Cicada & Corn Beetle

Cicada (yo'ne'ctci'di') (H) (The insects, classified by the Navaho with worms, have not been scientifically identified) has a good deal of power,usually expressed in an arrow-crossing contest. He was able to shove an arrow through each side of his chest, pull it out on the opposite side, and survive unscathed. He crossed arrows also from mouth to anus and pulled them through. The latter proved too hard a test for his enemies and he won the world from the Grebes. In some versions, the Grebes cut off parts of his cheeks with their ax. That is why Cicada has a narrow face. Before he transfixed himself with the arrows he pushed his vitals into his abdomen, then changed his mind and pushed them all into his chest; that is why he now has a big chest (Goddard, p. 131; Matthews 1897, p. 76, 218, 41n).

Cornbeetle ('an' lo a'ni') (H), the symbol of female generative power, may be represented as male or female comparable with Pollen Boy, with whom she is frequently paired (Reichard 1939, PI. XII, XIII, XXII; Wheelwright 1942, PI. Set II, 4).


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