The Horses – Navajo Language Lesson


The Horses - Navajo Language Lesson

The Horses – Navajo Language Lesson

The Horses 

I see my father’s horses running in the wind.
Shizhéé bilii níyol yighi’ naanáájahgo nésh’i.

I feel little standing here when the wind and the horses run by.
Lii shíighahgóó níyol yii chínájahgo ‘ánístsíísí yee’ nahalin kodóó séziigo.



Little Herder In Autumn
by Ann Clark
United States Department Of The Interior
Illustrated By Hoke Denetsosie

Little Herder – Navajo Language Lessons

Story Telling – Navajo Language Lesson
Build a Fire – Navajo Language Lesson
Little Lambs – Navajo Language Lesson
Field – Navajo Language Lesson
The Waterhole – Navajo Language Lesson
The Puppy – Navajo Language Lesson
Sheep Corral – Navajo Language Lesson
Possessions – Navajo Language Lesson
Breakfast – Little Herder Story
The Sing – Navajo Language Lesson
Going To The Sing – Navajo Language Lesson
Sleep – Navajo Language Lesson
Supper – Navajo Language Lesson
Father Comes Back – Navajo Language Lesson
Shoveling Snow – Navajo Language Lesson
The Dogs are Hungry – Navajo Language Lesson
There Is No Food – Navajo Story

More Navajo language links:

Navajo Men On the Way to a Sing Ceremony

Navajo Men On the Way to a Sing Ceremony
Description: Navajo men on Horses in Canyon going to a Navajo Sing.Creator DeHuff, Elizabeth Willis, 1886-1983

Publisher Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico
Date Original ca. 1899-1945

Navajo People Website Links:
Navajo CultureNavajo HistoryNavajo ArtNavajo Clothing Navajo PicturesNavajo RugsNavajo LanguageNavajo JewelryNavajo Code TalkerNavajo PotteryNavajo LegendsHogan’sSand PaintingNavajo Food Navajo NewsNavajo Nation

Rodeo Terminology in the Navajo Language – Video

Rodeo, or known as Ahóóhai in the Navajo language, is a very popular sport on the Navajo reservation. Since many Navajos have cattle, it’s not suprising that Navajos undertaken this competitive sports event. This video basically covers the names of the events in Navajo, both timed and rough stock events. This video also covers the names of key individuals involved in a rodeo, for example:

Akalii: Cowboy:
Dóola Bil Naalgeedígíí: Bull Rider
Hastiin Lá At’ínígíí: Rodeo Clown
Bil Nída’algeedgo Nídayiiláhígíí: Pick-Up Man


The term “rodeo” in Navajo comes from the word “Naa’ahóóhai,” which means “chicken” in Navajo. Rodeos on the reservation initiated around a “chicken-pull.” Over time, this word got shortened to “ahóóhai,” and rather than being named after chicken pulls it became the term for “rodeos” as rodeos got popular on the reservation. Also, some people will use the term “Naa’ahóóhai” or “Ahóóhai” for agricultural shows; tribal, county, or state fairs.

The names of the rodeo events in Navajo:

Líí’ T’áá Dilkoohgo Naalgeedígíí: Bare Back

The breakdown:

Líí’: horse
T’áá Dilkoohgo: in a smooth manner (i.e. without a saddle)
Naalgeedígíí: the one that is bucking

Líí’ Bik’ídahaznilgo Naalgeedígíí: Saddle Bronc

The breakdown:

Líí’: horse
Bik’ídahaznilgo: things are set on it (i.e. it is saddled)
Naalgeedígíí: the one that is bucking

Béégashii Alts’áá’ Wódleehígíí: Team Roping

The breakdown:

Béégashii: cow
Alts’áá’: on each side
Wódleehígíí: the one where it is roped

Tóshjeeh BinaagoL?íí’ Náádadiilwo’ígíí: Barrel Racing

The breakdown:

Tóshjeeh: barrel/water container
Binaago: around it
Líí’: horse(s)
Náádadiilwo’ígíí: the one where they run around

Béégashii Yáázh Wódleehígíí: Calf Roping

The breakdown:

Béégashii: cow
Yáázh: the little one (i.e.calf)
Wódleehígíí: the one that is roped

Béégashii Bik’os Náágisgo Nehe’nílígíí: Steer Wrestling

The breakdown:

Béégashii: cow
Bik’os: it’s neck
Náágisgo: it is turned
Nehe’ní?ígíí: the one that is taken down

Dóola Naalgeedígíí: Bull Riding

The breakdown:

Dóola: bull
Naalgeedígíí: the one that is bucking

Béégashii Yáázh T’óó Yisdlohígíí: Ladies’ Break-Away

The breakdown:

Béégashii: cow
Yáázh: the little one (i.e. calf)
T’óó: merely
Yisdlohígíí: it is roped

Since rodeos have become a key fixture in Navajo culture, I had to include this video in my series of Navajo language terminology! Enjoy, and hopefully if you hear these terms at a rodeo on the reservation, you won’t be too confused anymore! 🙂

This video was filmed at Double “R” Ranch, in Round Rock, AZ

Source: Daybreak Warrior (Terry Teller)