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.

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




  1. I stumbled upon the RC Gorman monument to code talkers and his father alongside the road near the entrance to Northern Arizona University. Artistic considerations aside I noticed that the alignment of the pillar and the bust on top were slightly misaligned with the four pathways that allow you to approach the monument. I’m assuming this was intentional but cannot find any references to this provocative misalignment.

  2. Liza Rydberg ( maiden name: Mike) says

    I’m a full blooded Navajo of Fort Defiance and Crownpoint agencies, just like any other tribe, is there any IIM due to us in California? I want to move over to my dad’s colony, I just don’t have any resources to begin with. Could you assist?

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