Mount Blanca (Sisnaajini) Navajo Sacred Mountain

Mount Blanca (Sisnaajini) – Dawn or White Shell Mountain

Direction: East ( Ha’a’aah)
Color: White (Ligia)
Protector: Bear (Shash)

Mount Blanca (Sisnaajini) - Dawn or White Shell Mountain


Mount Blanca (Sisnaajini) Navajo Sacred Mountain

The mountain is considered to be the eastern boundary of the Dinetah, the traditional Navajo homeland.

When the Holy People had assembled the things with which to dress the East mountain, they traveled by way of a sunbeam and rainbow beam to decorate Sisnaajiní.

The Holy People dressed Sisnaajiní with a perfect white shell for positive thoughts and thinking.

Then the Holy People ran a bolt of lighting through a sacred mountain to fasten the East mountain to our Mother Earth.

These are the Holy People that were told to live in this sacred mountain:
1. Dawn Boy and Girl
2. White Bead Boy and Girl
3. White Corn and Male Rain
4. Rock Crystal Boy and Girl and Birds
5. Spotted White Corn for vegetation symbols
6. White Wind, Spotted Wind gave life to this mountain

As Navajo people, we were given Blanca Peak as a starting point. Blanca Peak was put in the eastern direction because the sun rises from there at the start of each day.

Blanca Peak should be thought of as the ‘north arrow’ on a map, which determines the orientation of a person’s mind and physical presence on earth. The eastern direction is easily determined each morning as it is dawning. The sun then rises.

During this process, you are waking up and thinking what it is that you will be doing for the day.

As you go outside of your Hogan, you’re already facing east toward the Holy People. So, being that Blanca Peak is in the eastern direction, Blanca Peak represents ‘thought’.

Thought comes first in everything that you do. Blanca Peak was carefully formed.

Its spirit is that of the Holy People and its appearance is that of varying plants such as trees and flowers.

In that respect, your first thoughts have those same characters.

The literal translation of Blanca Peak (from Navajo) is Black Belted Mountain. There are many stories in why it is called that.

Each of the sacred mountains is a holy person dressed in various outfits. Blanca Peak has a belt. A layer of trees around it that is caused by the ‘tree line’ forms the belt. Just like any of the sacred mountains, Blanca Peak stands on its feet and extends out its arms.
Navaho Legends -Matthews, Washington,-.
The Dîné: origin myths of the Navaho Indians – O’Bryan, Aileen.
An ethnologic dictionary of the Navaho language – Franciscans, Saint Michaels, Ariz.
Foundation of Navajo Culture, by Wilson Aronilth, Jr.,

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

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster


Navajo People Website Links:
Navajo Culture – Navajo History – Navajo Art – Navajo Clothing Navajo Pictures – Navajo Rugs – Navajo Language– Navajo Jewelry – Navajo Code Talker – Navajo Pottery – Navajo Legends – Hogan’s – Sand Painting – Navajo Food – Navajo News – Navajo Nation


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  3. Diane Woodard says

    I grew up in the San Luis Valley seeing Sisnaajini everyday. Like so many others, I always felt this mountain was a most important friend and teacher. It was also a constant friend and yet at the same time never the same. That said about a year ago I saw something very unusual about this mountain. But now I learn from this Navajo website that what I saw that I found unusual is consistent with the Navaho History and Culture of Sisnaajini. What I saw was a full one hundred and eighty degree rainbow arching over the entire top of the mountain. Moreover, this rainbow presented itself when the mountain’s peaks were fully snow covered. What more can I say? I was awestruck. I was also filled with special hope for this mountain and for the World.

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  7. Sam Goodman says

    The young eagle is also symbolic of the eastern mountain. It’s youthful voice is the sound it gives to the eastern direction.

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