The Navajo Four Cardinal Directions

East – Ha’a’aah

South – Shádi’ááh

West – E’e’aah

North – Náhookos

1-4a Forth World

East – Ha’a’aah

Dawn, birth, beginning of life, a new beginning of each day.  Goal setting visualizing, conceptualizing, and  developing mental strength capabilities.
Realization,creativity, reasoning, awareness,developing ideas,and forming opinions.
Develop good memory skills and sensitivity. Intellectual development and  becoming innovative.

North – Náhookos

Darkness mysteriousness – aging process spiritual wholeness – confidence – reflection – competency –  evaluation. Questioning. Full implementation in strategic planning, goal setting, implementing, reviewing and revising an evaluation, display mental strength and emotional stability, comfortable living, understanding, lifetime learning and living well. Obtaining a sense of balance with self and surrounding surroundings. Obtaining strong mental stability.

South – Shádi’ááh

Planning identify resources, gather information, analyze-express emotional stability, understanding,  identity capabilities and possibilities.
Becoming creative, understanding, generosity, care through understanding of key. Understand I love, emotional stability. Develop awareness of good health and the importance of eating healthy foods daily exercise. Third, the importance of self-sufficient. Self-support, self-governance. Recognize your role and responsibilities in the clan, and extended family and community

West  E’e’aah

No parental role and responsibilities. No purpose of living no family values and principles, no primary and extended family, clan members-use correct term – the terminology in relationships, no appropriate behaviors and acceptable attitude. Make positive relationships and teasing. No accomplishments and implementation, production, results, construct and revise life goals and objectives, missionary person. Active in family social activities as well as general community concen..

The dawn is assigned to, and indicates, the east, the Skyblue the south, the evening twilight the west, and darkness the north.

Hence, the symbolic color of the east is white, that of the south blue, of the west yellow, of the north dark or black. In consequence sand paintings, for instance, of the sacred mountains are decorated in these colors, Sisnajini (Pelado Peak), white, Tsodzil (Mt. Taylor), blue Dookoslid (San Francisco Mountains), yellow, Debentsa (San Juan Mountains), black.

Sacrificial stones, too, are assigned according to the color of the direction: white shell (yolgai), to the west, cannel coal (bashzhini), to the north, red-white stone (tselchii), to the center.

Sources:
An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navaho Language; 1910, The Franciscan Fathers.
Reichard (1950:187-203)
Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education

 

 

The Navajo Four Sacred Colors

Color In Navajo Life And Beliefs

Color has many symbolic meanings in Navajo culture; in fact, a single color can mean several different things depending on the context in which it is used. Four colors in particular black, white, blue, and yellow have important connections to Navajo cultural and spiritual beliefs. These colors represent the four cardinal directions.

Color Navajo Symbolic Associations Chart copy

The Navajos define their homeland as the area between four sacred mountains in each direction, so each color represents a sacred mountain as well. Thus, among their myriad other meanings, the colors black, white, blue, and yellow link the Navajos to their ancestral homeland and the story of its creation.

The Navajos define their homeland as the area between four sacred mountains in each direction, so each color represents a sacred mountain as well.

Thus, among their myriad other meanings, the colors black, white, blue, and yellow link the Navajos to their ancestral homeland and the story of its creation.

  • Black, which associated with north, also symbolizes Dibé Ntsaa (Hesperus Peak), in what is now southwestern Colorado.
  • White, which represents east, is connected to Sisnaajini (Blanca Peak), in what is now south-central Colorado.
  • Blue, is connected with south and Tsoodzil (Mount Taylor), northeast of Grants, New Mexico.
  • Yellow,  is associated with west and Dook’o’oosliid (the San Francisco Peaks), near Flagstaff, Arizona

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

COLOR

Black

While

Blue

Yellow

DIRECTION

North

East

South

West

TIME OF DAY

Night

Dawn

Day

Dusk

In the Emergence, the Navajo creation story, First Man took four stones.

  • jet, which represents black;
  • white shell, which symbolizes white;
  • turquoise, which is tied to blue; and
  • abalone, which represents yellow

—and placed them at the four directions.

He blew on the stones four times and they grew into a hogan. For the Navajos, the hogan is more than simply their traditional form of shelter; it has sacred meanings and still plays a vital role in Navajo spiritual and community life. In the story of the Emergence, First Man’s hogan became the world. First Man also created the four sacred mountains in this world.

These are just two examples of the four colors in the Navajo creation story; myriad other references to color appear throughout this and other Navajo traditions. Given their many connections to Navajo tradition, these four colors are an important part of the way culture and spirituality is passed from one generation to the next. One venue for the transmission of culture is art, and the four colors appear frequently in Navajo spiritual objects and works of art.

Navajo silversmiths, for example, can use the four precious stones and shells to connect their work to Navajo beliefs. Navajo sand paintings are both an art form and a means of a spiritual communication that makes use of the sacred colors to transmit information about culture. For example, in sand paintings depicting the Place of Whirling Logs, the white guard watches over the corn, the blue guard watches over the beans, the yellow guard watches over the squash, and the black guard watches over the tobacco.

Weaving is another important Navajo art form, and Navajo weavers choose colors based on both aesthetic appeal and cultural symbolism.

The Navajos use the four colors in ways too numerous to list, and their meanings are frequently subtle and complex. The colors’ symbolism connects the past, present, and the future of the Navajo people. It interweaves geography, spirituality, and art and encodes deep meanings into the material culture of the Navajo people. Using these colors and teaching their meanings to younger generations is one important way the Navajos are preserving their traditional culture.

Navajo String Games

Navajo String Games book and DVD

Navajo String Games book and DVD

 

String Games are a winter storytelling activity that kids of all ages enjoy. The string games are stories that you act out in patterns by intertwining hand movements with a string. Some of the hand movements are easily mastered, while others require skill and patience to learn. This book will provide you with the directions and illustrations you need to start having winter fun.

Navajo string game butterfly

Navajo string game butterfly

Navajo String Games book and DVD

Author: Don Mose, Jr.
Illustrations: Theresa Breznau
Edited by: Kathryn Hurst
DVD formatting: Benjamin Long
Text: English (string game identified with Navajo reference)
DVD provides hand directions for 40 string games and stories
Paper-cover, perfect bound, 8.5 x 11″
40 pages
c 2005

Ordering Information

Cost $15.00 USD

San Juan School District
Heritage Language Resource Center
28 West 200 North
Phone: 435-678-1230
FAX: 435-678-1283
Store Hours: 9:00 – 4:30
Monday through Thursday
Email: rstoneman@sjsd.org

Online order at this Website: media.sjsd.org

We accept purchase orders, credit cards, and checks.
We bill only for items shipped and actual cost of shipping.
Personal orders ship after payment is received.
Please estimate 10% of purchase total for shipping cost.

Navajo Clan Wheel Chart

Navajo Clan Wheel Chart

Navajo Clan Wheel Chart

Help students become familiar with their clans. The clan wheel can help students identify family relationships and connections.

Clan Wheel measures 19″ in diameter and has three layers made with sturdy railroad board. A heavy grommet hold the wheel together. The names of Related clans can be lined-up and displayed in the cut-out window.

Ordering Information

Cost $15.00 USD

San Juan School District
Heritage Language Resource Center
28 West 200 North
Phone: 435-678-1230
FAX: 435-678-1283
Store Hours: 9:00 – 4:30
Monday through Thursday
Email: rstoneman@sjsd.org

Online order at this Website: media.sjsd.org

We accept purchase orders, credit cards, and checks.
We bill only for items shipped and actual cost of shipping.
Personal orders ship after payment is received.
Please estimate 10% of purchase total for shipping cost.

This Navajo Clan Wheel can be used with the Navajo Clan Legends Poster and the Clan Legends book.

clan book thumbClan poster thumb

Navajo Clan Legends Poster

Navajo Clan Legends Poster

Navajo Clan Legends Poster

Dóon’è Baa Hane’

Navajo Clan Legends Poster

Display the traditional Narrative depicting the way in which Changing Woman created the Four Original Clans. Mountains, plants, Clan Journey Stories, and Protection Animals associated with the Clans.

This beautiful poster was created from illustrations by Theresa Breznau. Changing Woman is at the center, encircled by a rainbow yei and framed by the four sacred mountains. The four original clans, Bitterwater, Mud people, Towering House, and One Walks Around You, their associations and descriptions, surround the rainbow. The posters are in full-color and laminated.

This poster can be used with the Navajo Clan Wheel and the Clan Legends book.

Laminated on heavy cardstock.

This poster can be purchased in two sizes:

11″ x 17″ – $2.00
18″ x 22″ – $6.00

Ordering Information

San Juan School District
Heritage Language Resource Center
28 West 200 North
Phone: 435-678-1230
FAX: 435-678-1283
Store Hours: 9:00 – 4:30
Monday through Thursday
Email: rstoneman@sjsd.org

Online order at this Website: media.sjsd.org

We accept purchase orders, credit cards, and checks.
We bill only for items shipped and actual cost of shipping.
Personal orders ship after payment is received.
Please estimate 10% of purchase total for shipping cost.

Navajo Knowledge Bowl 2014

19th Annual Navajo Knowledge Bowl

Central Consolidated School District’s Navajo Knowledge Bowl, was held May 6, 2014 in Shiprock, New Mexico.

Navajo Knowledge Bowl Singers

Navajo Knowledge Bowl Singers

Students competed in Navajo writing and speaking; Navajo individual, duet, and group singing; Navajo spelling, and Navajo history and culture.

Navajo Knowledge Bowl Spelling Bee Winners

 Navajo Knowledge Bowl Spelling Bee Winners Juwan Sandman – NHS, Raelyn Bedah – SHS, and Kameron Cayaditto – CMS

19TH ANNUAL NAVAJO KNOWLEDGE BOWL RESULTS– TUESDAY, MAY 6, 2014

 

CATEGORY 1ST PLACE 2ND PLACE 3RD PLACE 4H PLACE
Navajo Singing Solo Nichelle Yazzie -SJHS Raelyn Bedah-SHS Vanessa Listner -SHS Jerrick Jumbo-SHS
Navajo Singing Duet Rametin Holiday/Nichelle YazzieSJHS Rainelle Bahe/Lashanna Descheny-RPCS Merilyn Werito/Cicilly WeritoTYGHS Monieque Hunter/Tarrence Woody-RPCS
Navajo Singing Group SJHS #72 Cuba High School Rock Point Cuba Middle School #75
Navajo Reading Novice Antawn Toledo-CHS Nicolas Norberto-CHS Arlena Chee-SHS Jessica Brown-KCHS
Navajo Reading Intermediate Daniel Manuelito-NHS Morgan Yabeny- SHS Brianna Bigman-BHS Kody Goldtooth-KCHS
Navajo Reading Advanced Rookie Hoskie – SHS Kendall Harvey- BHS Kody Goldtooth-KCHS Autumn Yazzie-TBA
Navajo Speaking Courtney Castillo-CHS Tiffany Spencer-CHS Sam Wood- SHS Shernell Bitsinnie-SJHS
Navajo Spelling Bee Juwan Sandman – NHS Raelyn Bedah – SHS Kameron Cayaditto – CMS Nolan Nakai – TYGHS
Navajo Knowledge Bowl NHSDesiree Lapahie 12thDaniel Manuelito 12thAutumn Brown 12th

Raeanna Begay 12th

Alden Thomas 11th -(Alt)

KCHSAdam Natonobah 12thRandall Canyon 11thVernette Nez 11th

Jadara Dodge 10th

Desiree Dan 11th -(Alt)

Yse Yi Gai High SchoolLane Tsosie 11thChristopher Daukai 10thLavendar Sandoval 11th

Jeremiah Woody 9th

Alexandria Toledo 10th (Alt)

Cuba High SchoolHenrena Montoya 11thAustin Toledo 11thTimothy Albert 11th

Amber Toledo 12th

Navajo Writing & Speaking – Joke Telling & Short Story Lynia BlueEyes-KCHS Kayla Jim-KCHS Bryant James-SJHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Historical Essay Tiffani Spenser-CHS Amanda King-KCHS Nizhoni Harrison-TYGHS Shinona Betone-TYGHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Personal Narrative Sam Wood- SHS Courtney Castillo-CHS Shania Martinez-TYGHS Rookie Hoskie-SHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Creative Writing Kenaba Hatathlie-KCHS Patrick Jim-NHS Jace Wauneka Curley-KCHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Factual Information Andreana Augustine-CHS Lynn Fauntlery-KCHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Persuasive Presentation Kelsey Sandoval-CHS Terrill Domingo-CHS
Navajo Writing & Speaking – Expository Information Sasha Antonio-TYGHS Desiree Lapahie- NHS

 

 

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

The Sacred Mountains of the Dinè

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

Poster © 2013 Heritage Language Resource Center. All rights reserved

When the Holy People were preparing the Fourth World for habitation by the Dinè, they took mountains that had been formed in the lower worlds and replanted them in this, the Fourth World.  Their placement forms the boundaries of the land of the Navajo.

Sacred ceremonies, songs, and prayers surround the histories of these mountains.  They are a guide to understanding, strength, courage, and endurance for the Navajo.

Brilliant Color & Laminated
Original Artwork by Charles Yanito, Dinè

Charles Yanito artist and illustrator
Charles Yanito artist and illustrator

Charles Yanito was born in Bluff, Utah to the Tl’ash chii and the Toh dich’iinih clans. He attended the lnstitute of American lndian Arts and holds degrees from the College of Eastern Utah and Utah State University. He has exhibited his works in numerous galleries and regional art festivals. His illushations can be seen in many San Juan Schools Heritage Language Resource Centor publlcaflons, Currenfly, Charles resides in Bear, Delaware with his famlly.

Available in three sizes:
23” x 35” – $10.00
18” x 24” – $6.00
11” x 14” – $2.00
Illustrates the Six Scared Mountains,
their characteristics, and contributions in
Navajo culture and history.

Ordering Information

San Juan School District
Heritage Language Resource Center
28 West 200 North
Phone: 435-678-1230
FAX: 435-678-1283
Store Hours: 9:00 – 4:30
Monday through Thursday
Email: rstoneman@sjsd.org

Online order at this Website: media.sjsd.org

Click here for New Fall 2013  Catalog

We accept purchase orders, credit cards, and checks.
We bill only for items shipped and actual cost of shipping.
Personal orders ship after payment is received.
Please estimate 10% of purchase total for shipping cost.

The Four Navajo Sacred Mountains

Mount Blanca (Tsisnaasjini’ – Dawn or White Shell Mountain – East
Mount Taylor (Tsoodzil – Blue Bead or Turquoise Mountain) – South
Mount Humphrey (Doko’oosliid – Abalone Shell Mountain) – West
Mount Hesperus Dibé Nitsaa (Big Mountain Sheep) – Obsidian Mountain – North

Other Sacred Mountains

Huerfano Mesa – Navajo Sacred Mountain
Gobernador Knob – Navajo Sacred Mountain

 

 

Sesame Street Video about Navajo Life

Shows how the Navajo have to go to a well

and hand pump water for their animals and plants.

Many of the Navajo people do not have running water to their home.

K’é – Diné (Navajo) Kinship System

The Diné society is based primarily upon kinship arising from clan affiliation, as each person is a member of the tribe by reason of his or her affiliation to one of the numerous Clans.

It is very important for a person to know K’e – The Kinship System.
Below are the Diné (Navajo) terms for the extended family:

Diné (Navajo) Kinship System

Graphic: Rough Rock  School Press  | © 2013 | All Rights Reserved

The main attributes of Navajo kinship are:

  • The basic term k’é refers to affective action and solidarity, including such concepts as love, compassion, kindness, friendliness, generosity, and peacefulness.
  • Matrilineal — descent is traced through one’s mother
  • Matrilocal — husbands go to reside among the wife’s family. This means that older females will have substantial authority in the organizing and running of the household and control of the property.

The learning of kinship begins with the family which consists of a man, his wife , and his unmarried children.

Clanship is determined through the mother’s clan, and a child is “born for” the father’s clan.

Clanship also determines marriage, as one should marry into one’s own clan, into one’s father’s clan, or with someone whose father’s clan is the same as your father.

K’é is central to maintaining the Diné language and culture. Diné young people must know their clan relatives to avoid marriage within their own clans.

When the Diné greet each other, it is appropriate for them to introduce themselves by telling their clans.

It is critical that all Diné understand their ancestral history so that they can maintain and respect the clan traditions.

The knowledge of these traditions, passed down through many generations, must continue to be taught and respected. This is crucial for survival of the traditional ways of the Diné people.

Sources:

 K’e Graphic source:
Rough Rock School Press
Phone: 928-728-3788
Fax: 928-728-3502
www.roughrock.k12.az.us

Dine Culture Awareness Handbook, Central Consolidated School District No.22, NM.

Navajo Clan Legends, compiled by Don Mose Jr., SJSD Media Center, Blanding UT. 2001

Navajo Nation 1997 Close Up Program, Darrell Watchman, ed. Navajo Nation Division of Education, 1997.

Franciscans, Saint Michaels, Ariz. An ethnologic dictionary of the Navaho language (Kindle Locations 9337-9341). Saint Michaels, Ariz., Franciscan Fathers.

Tsidil – Navajo Stick Game

The Stick Game is a traditional activity given to the First Dine Clans by Changing Woman. Since it is not seasonally-specific, it can be played and enjoyed anytime of the year.

 

Navajo Stick Game-1

This game kit includes 40 polished stones (stars), three black & white dice, 25 colored playing sticks (markers), instructions, a 16-page, fullcolor, spiral-bound book, and 10-minute DVD.

Tsidil - Navajo Stick Game

DVD was filmed at the Aneth Community School Hogan and features Jim Dandy, Sr. and 6th grade children from Montezuma Creek Elementary. Game can be played by up to 25 students.

Navajo Stick Game-2

Book is illustrated by Navajo artist, Curtis Yanito.

Price $25.00

To Purchase:
Heritage Language Resource Center
Navajo and Ute Language Resources
28 West 200 North
Blanding, Utah 8451
435 -678 -1230
Website: media.sjsd.org