San Francisco Peaks – Navajo Sacred Mountain

Humphrey Peak (Doko’o’osliid)

Part of the San Francisco Peaks

San Francisco Peaks - Navajo Sacred Mountain

Abalone Shell Mountain

Direction: West ( E’e’aah)
Color: Yellow (Litzo)
Protector: Wolf (Ma’íí Tsoh)

In the west, Doko’oosliid San Francisco Peaks was made on a abalone blanket, soil from Doko’oosliid and pieces of abalone brought from the Third World .

They dressed and decorated this mountain with abalone shell to create understanding of our social unity and life (Iina).

San Francisco peaks was anchored with sunbeams and the mountain was covered with a blanket of yellow cloud.

It also was decorated with black clouds and male rain.

Abalone shell boy made his home on the mountain of the West

These are the Holy People that were told to live in this mountain:
1. Yellow Evening Boy and Girl
2. Abalone Shell Boy and Girl
3. Yellow Corn Boy and Girl
4. All kinds of yellow birds
5. Mixture of water and plants
6. Yellow wind was made to give life to this mountain

The San Francisco Peaks, is where the sun sets.

When you watch the sun set behind the San Francisco Peaks from a certain location, the setting sun creates this bright hue into the sky making a certain kind of light reflect down to earth.

This reflected light is what gives the San Francisco Peaks its literally translated name,

The Mountain that Reflects. As the sun sets, you have carried out your plans.

From day to day, these carried out plans eventually equates to your life.

The western mountain, the San Francisco Peaks, represents life.

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

The Navajo Sacred Mountains Poster

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.

Online order at this Website:

San Juan School District
Heritage Language Resource Center
Phone: 435-678-1230

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

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


Navajo creation story – Nihaltsoh -The third World (Yellow World)

Nihaltsoh – The Navajo Yellow World

 Navajo Third World

Creation Story Poster- Ni’hodilhil First World
Illustrations by Theresa Breznau.
© 2013 Heritage Language Resource Center. All rights reserved
To purchase see bottom of page.


On the wands, the beings passed into the Third World. Blue Bird was the first to come through. He found the world was yellow. After Blue Bird, First Man, First Woman, Coyote and one of the insects came. After that, the other beings entered the Yellow World.

The Yellow World was large. Many new things were there. A great river crossed this land from north to south. It was the Female River.
There was another river crossing it from east to west, it was the Male River. This Male River flowed through the Female River and on  and the name of this place is tqoalna’osdli, the Crossing of the waters.

Animals in the Yellow world
a. Squirrel
b. Chipmunk
c. Mice
d. Turkey
e. Foxes
f. Deer
g. Spiders
h. Lizards
i. Water Monster

Others in the Yellow World
1. Water Monster
2. Turquoise Boy
3. While Shell Woman
4. Coyote
5. Rivers that Cross
6. Separation of Sexes


In this world there were six mountains. These are the mountains that are important to Navajos today.

The Four Sacred Mountains

In the East was  Blanco Peak  Sisnaajinii, the Standing Black Sash. Its ceremonial name is Yolgaidzil, the Dawn or White Shell Mountain.
In the South stood Mount Taylor Tsoodzil, the Great Mountain, also called Mountain Tongue. Its ceremonial name is Yodoltizhidzil, the Blue Bead or Turquoise Mountain.
In the West stood the San Francisco Peaks  Dook’oslid,  Its ceremonial name is Dichi’li dzil, the Abalone Shell Mountain.
In the North stood the La Plata Mountains Debe’ntsa, Many Sheep Mountain.
Its ceremonial name is Bash’zliinidzil. Obsidian Mountain.

Other Sacred Mountains

ln the middle was Huerfano Mesa.  Dzilna’odili, the Upper Mountain. It was very sacred, and its name means also the Center Place, and the people moved around it. Its ceremonial name is Ntl’isdzil. Precious Stone or Banded Rock Mountain.

Near this was a cone-shaped mountain called Gobernador Knob,  called Chori’i or Dzil na’odilicholi, and it was also a sacred mountain.

Different animals lived around these mountains. Squirrel, Chipmunk, Turkey, Deer, Snake and Lizard lived there. But these animals looked different from animals we see today. They were spirit beings.

The beings were happy in the Yellow World. Then one day something happened. Coyote took Water Monster’s baby. Water Monster was very angry. He was so angry that he decided to make it rain. lt rained and rained. The water rose higher and higher.
Then the water began to flood. The beings did not know where to go to escape the flood. First Man tried to help them. He told them to come to Blanco Peak. But the water kept rising. It rose higher than the mountain.

First Man wondered what to do. He planted a cedar tree. But this did not grow higher than the water. He planted a pine tree. But the pine tree was too short. He planted a male reed. The reed was still too short. Finally, First Man planted a female reed. This reed grew to the sky.

The beings climbed onto the reed. They started to climb up. When they got to the top, they found another world. This was the Fourth, White World. This is the place where all beings live today.


The First World “Nihodilhil” (Black World)

Nihodootlizh – Second World (Blue World)

 Nihaltsoh -The third World (Yellow World)

 Nihalgai – The Fourth, Glittering or White World


Creation Story Poster Set of Four

4-creation posters

This poster set illustrates and explains the Creation Narrative in simple, design and text.
Each poster depicts the beings and landmarks associated with that World.
Illustrations by Theresa Breznau.
17” x 22” laminated on heavy cardstock.
Sold as a set for $24.00
Also available individually for $6.00 each

To Purchase:
Heritage Language Resource Center
Navajo and Ute Language Resources
28 West 20 North
Blanding, Utah 8451
435 -678 -1230