Cyclone, Wind, Stars
they placed twelve big white cyclones (Niholtso) in the east under the edge of
the world, and twelve blue cyclones (Niholtso-doklizh), under the edge of the
world at the south, and twelve yellow cyclones (Niholtso-klitsoi) in the west
under the edge of the world, and twelve black cyclones under the north. And these
forty-eight cyclones are what hold the world up. They also sent all kinds of winds
up to the sky to hold up the sky and stars."
Creation Myth, The Story of the Emergence: By Hasteen Klah; Recorded by Mary
an element, which carries the life-force of nature. In the Ways, Wind is thought
to be a messenger who possesses cunning, but also a certain caring for mortals.
Medicine men breathe upon their patients to invigorate them with Wind's power,
for it was Wind who first gave life to the mountains. Pg. 47
However, there was no life in anything. This was because the beings were empty.
Wind had not been born yet, so there was no life, So it was that things waited.
They waited for strength. While they were doing this, a cloud of light appeared
in the east. It rose and fell and streamers of light came off it. The People
watched it turn black. From that blackness, they saw Black Wind coming. Then
the cloud of light turned blue, and Blue Wind came. The cloud of light turned
yellow and Yellow Wind came. The cloud of light turned white, and White Wind
came. And the cloud of light then showed all colors at the same time and Many-Colored-Wind
of light made Rainbow of the Earth.
And there was White Early Dawn
Blue Sky of Noon
Yellow Sky of Sunset
And Dark Sky of Night.
these times is a holy time of day, and The People understood this, and when
the Winds came and passed through them, they knew they were blessed. The Winds
made lines on the fingers and toes and heads of The People. And they entered
into the mountains and waters, and everything else. And they gave them life,
because Wind is Creation's first food. Pg. 71
Now First Man and First Woman knew that The People wanted more light to see
the new world. So they told The People to put offerings on the wings of Bat.
The People did this and the offerings turned into stars. But since the stars
did not have life in them, First Man and First Woman told two boys to sing life
into them. They began to do this when Coyote came along and stole the boy's
voices. Therefore, the stars could not flicker the way they were supposed to.
The People gave Coyote offerings, and when he accepted them, he sang to the
east, south, west, and north. Then light was breathed into the stars, and they
began to shine. The constellations were next to go up into the sky. First Man
and First Woman had worked out where they were going to put them. But Coyote
got them and scattered them all over the place. This made more work for First
Man and First Woman. They had to fix everything up again and blow on the sky
until it was just the right height from the earth. Pgs. 89, 90
Navajos say that Wind comes in many forms: mild, intoxicating, wild, unruly.
Thus, Wind can be good or bad, and like Snake, can hide almost anywhere. Invisible,
Wind can enter a man's inner ear, and influence his innermost thoughts. Pg.
When he was himself again, the elder brother taught his younger brother the
ceremony which the Holy People had taught him. "You must remember not to
fear the Wind People," he said, "for we Earth People are a part of
them." Pgs. 120, 121
of the Gila Monster, Navajo Ceremonial Tales; 1993, Gerald Hausman.
of the Stars. hashchezhini, the Firegod, placed the various constellations in
their respective positions. He is also accredited with blowing the stars of
the milky way across the sky. Such other stars as he wished to keep in reserve
were scattered by the Coyote (atse' hashke') over the heavens. The Navajo, therefore,
have no names for many constellations. The Coyote planted but one star permanently
in the heavens, which is therefore called ma'i biso', coyote's star. Pg. 353
Dictionary of the Navajo Language; 1910, The Franciscan Fathers.