say that "the moon was given to the whites . . . in the beginning of life
on this earth." They reason that "it belongs to the white people"
because it "has a nose and mouth with a face of a white man;" also it
"is like the white people's skin, transparent." Pg. 45
for Horses: The Impact of the Horse on Navajo and Apache Folklore; 1966, La
Verne Harrell Clark.
appointed . . . He-Who Returns-Carrying-One-Corn-Kernel to be the bearer of
the moon disk, Tl'ehonaa'ei. Another primary contrast, that of birth and death,
came into existence because of the sun bearer's demand for payment for carrying
the celestial disk across the sky. The moon carrier, when asked his opinion,
says, "I am now in control of this night [part]! . . . births in the future
including any and every kind of birth will mostly occur at night, births will
be more frequent at night. That will be a cause for rejoicing. Oppositely too,
deaths will occur only at night." The sun and moon, in addition to supplying
illumination, provide the orderly arrangement of time periods proposed by First
Man: The moon is in charge of nightly events as well as vegetation and the monthly
cycle. Pgs. 74, 75
is my Mother, Sky is my Father: Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting;
1992, Trudy Griffen-Pierce.
sun and the moon are borne across the skies by divinities. Trails, thirty-two
in number, have been created for their travels, and summer and winter solstice
occur as the divinities complete the total number and start their return from
the northern- or southern-most trail, respectively. Pg. 37
An eclipse is caused by the death of the orb, which is revived by the immortal
bearers of the sun and moon. During an eclipse of the moon the family is awakened
to await its recovery. Similarly, a journey is interrupted and work ceases during
an eclipse of the sun. Songs referring to the Hozhoji, or rite of blessing,
are chanted by anyone knowing them, otherwise the passing of an eclipse is awaited
in silence. It is not considered auspicious to have a ceremony in progress during
an eclipse of the sun or moon, and a ceremony is often deferred on this account.
The rising generation, however, pays little or no attention to this custom.
Dictionary of the Navaho Language; 1910, The Franciscan Fathers.
(P) is the weaker of the Sun-Moon pair. Little is known about the person that
carries the moon. He is said to be either the maternal uncle (bida'i) or the
father of Sun. In sandpaintings, Moon is usually represented as the orb. The
difference between Moon and Sun is primarily one of color-white for the moon
and blue for the sun orb. The moon-bearer of the emergence picture is just like
the sun-bearer, except that he is white and carries a moon and a cloud (Ch.
4; Reichard, Shooting Chant ms.; Matthews 1897, pp.75, 80; Newcomb-Reichard,
p.56, PI. II, XI, XVIII; Wheelwright 1942, Set II, 1).
Religion, Vol II; Gladys A. Reichard, 1950