Porcupine (Dahsáni) Navajo Protector

Changing Woman gave the Hashtl’ishnii – Mud People Clan Porcupine (Dahsáni) as their symbol of protection.

Porcupine (Dahsáni) Navajo Protector

Porcupine is thought to have mystical healing powers, and used during winter ceremonies by Navajo Medicine Men. They are also an important animal for the Navajo Shoe Game.

He is also the protector of Mount Hesperus (Dibé Nitsaa) the Navajo Sacred Mountain of the north and
the Holy People that were told to live in this mountain:

Folding Darkness Boy and Girl
Black Jet Boy and Girl
Black Corn Boy and Girl and cold seasons


The Navajo Zoo has two resident Porcupines. One is a male, appropriately named Spike, while the other is a female named Barb. Spike was found locally as a tiny orphan in 2001 when he was small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Barb came to the Zoo in September 2008 and was also orphaned soon after birth. Both porcupines are full-grown and weigh between 25 and 30 pounds. They really enjoy apples given as treats during tours with school children.

Navajo Taboo: Do not kill porcupines or you will get nosebleeds.

The Four Navajo Sacred Mountains

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

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