Origin of Objects
World was small in size, a floating island in mist or water. On it there grew
one tree, a pine tree, which was later brought to the present world for firewood.
Origin Myths of the Navajo Indians, 1956; Aileen O'Bryan.
This ancient tree is used for burning and ceremonials. Its berries have been
used against many contagious diseases, and the needles, made into ash and mixed
with water, are used as a dye. Cedar smoke often smudges the air in Southwestern
Indian ceremonies, the boughs are cut and made into ceremonial dwellings, places
for chanting and healing, as well as for shade from the sun. Pg. 191
of the Gila Monster, Navajo Ceremonial Tales; 1993, Gerald Hausman.
legends they tell of Yei tso, a big, strong and mighty giant, the greatest and
fiercest of all the alien gods, whose father is said to have been a stone. "About
40 miles to the northeast of the top of Mt. San Mateo," says Dr. Matthews,
in Navajo Legends, note 138, page 234, "there is a dark, high, volcanic
hill, called by the Mexicans, El Cabezon, or the Great Head. This is the object
which, according to the Navaho storytellers, was the head of Yei tso."
Petrified wood is still called by the Navaho, yei bits'in; yei, or giant's bones,
and the numerous lava flows of New Mexico are called yei bidil, or giant's blood.
Dictionary of the Navaho Language; 1910, The Franciscan Fathers.
are Plains Indians with whom the Navajos often came in contact, traded, intermarried,
and fought. Their country formed the northern border of Navajo land. Once on
the other side of the San Juan River, the Navajo was in enemy territory. Shiprock,
standing high on the plains, is like a sign that the Navajo is safe within his
own country. Pgs. 61-62
on the Blue-Eyed Bear, Navajo Myths and Legends; 1975, Gerald Hausman.