Navajo creation story – Ni’hodootl’izh – Second World (Blue World)

Because of the strife in the First World, First Man (Atse Hastin), First Woman  (Atse Estsan)  , and the Coyote called First Angry, followed by all the others, climbed up from the World of Darkness and Dampness to the Second or Blue World.

Nihodootlizh – Second World (Blue World)

Creation Story Poster
Illustrations by Theresa Breznau.
© 2013 Heritage Language Resource Center. All rights reserved
To purchase see bottom of page.

In the Blue World
Blue Bird
Blue Hawk
Blue Jay

Holy People
Zigzag Lightening
Stright Lighting

Kit Foxes
Mountain Lion

Many beings lived in the Blue World. There was Blue Bird, Blue Hawk, Blue Jay and Blue Heron. Big insects also lived there. Wolves lived in a white house in the east. Wildcats lived in a blue house in the south. Kit foxes lived in a yellow house to the west. Mountain lions lived in a black house in the north.
The powerful swallow people lived there also, and these people made the Second World unpleasant for those who had come from the First World. There was fighting and killing.

The animals of the Blue World were at war with each other. First Man knew this, and he killed some of them. For doing this, First Man received certain songs and prayers. He said the prayers and sang the songs. When he did, the animals came to life again.
Coyote also lived in the Blue World. Coyote traveled all over. He went to all four directions. On his trips, he saw that the beings were not happy. They wanted to leave the Blue World.
When First Man heard this, he tried to help them leave. He smoked some sacred tobacco. He blew the smoke in the four directions. This made the insects feel better, but all the beings still wanted to leave. First Man tried again to help them. He tried many things, but he could not find a way for them to leave.

Finally, First Man found a black stone, called jet. He made a wand with the jet. He made three other wands. One was made of turquoise, One was made of abalone, and one was made of shell. Then First Man carved four footprints on the wands.

The beings climbed on the wands. The wands took them through an opening in the south. Before they left they made an offering. This was their way of thanking the Holy People for helping them leave. Today, people still make offerings like this.

The First Four found an opening in the World of Blue Haze  and they climbed through this and led the people up into the Third or Yellow world.

The First World “Nihodilhil” (Black World)

 Ni’hodootl’izh – 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



Navajo Mythology Twins – Monster Slayer

Two of the most important characters in Navajo mythology are twin miracle-performing sons of White-Shell Woman, Ylkaists¡n, chief goddess. This plate pictures the leader of the two the first conceived and the first-born, whose father is the sun. His name means “Slayer of Alien Gods,” from an, alien; ye, gods; to kill. By him, with the assistance of Tobadz­schin, his twin brother, were killed numerous bird, animal, rock, and human monsters, typifying evils, who wantonly destroyed human life.

Navajo Hero Twins Poster

Naayéé’neizghání (Slayer of Monsters) and Tóbájíshchíní (Born for Water) are the Navajo Hero Twins.

Navajo Hero Twins Poster

When the Spirit People came upon this earth from below they made six sacred mountains, four on the distant horizon at the cardinal points and two in the centre, Chaa­li and Tza­lhnahodaa­hla­. On the eastern slope of Chin­li, brought forth as the daughter of Earth and Sky, was born Ylkaiestsan, White-Shell Woman. First Man took her to his home near Tza­lhnahoda­hla, where she matured in twelve days into a beautiful woman with supernatural powers. Later she lived in a home of her own at the foot of this mountain. It was while there that she gave birth to twin boys who became saviours of their people, slaying alien gods who were fast depopulating the earth.

Monster Slayer - Tóbájíshchíní ­ - Navajo

Monster Slayer – Tóbájíshchíní – Navajo

Yalkai Estsa¡n would often lie on the eastern slope of the mountain as the sun rose through the morning, and when the day grew warm would seek the shade of jutting rocks from which trickled shining drops of water. Quite unknown to herself she had conceived one day from the sunbeams and the dripping water. When she became aware that she was to become a mother Yalkaiastsa¡n was made very happy, for she did not enjoy living alone. Soon she found herself the proud possessor of twin boys. The first-born and the stronger came to be known in his youth as Nayainazgana­, Slayer of Alien Gods; the other was always known as Tobadza­scha­ina­, Born From Water. Their prenatal life covered a period of only twelve days, and maturity was attained in thirty-two days after passing through eight changes, one of which came every four days.

At that time the earth was infested with great giants, foreign gods, who were rapidly destroying the people. Of these, Ya­tso, Big God, as large as a mountain, was the only one in human form. The others were Man-eating Bird, Rolling Stone, that crushed all in its path, Tracking Bear, and Antelope, who killed without mercy. Fearing lest some of these monsters learn of the presence of her boys, Yólkai Ä”stsán kept them hidden away on the mountain side, but they chafed under confinement, so she made them bows and arrows and let them play about, but admonished them not to stray far from home. The boys promised to obey, but not long afterward, because in reply to their questions their mother told them she did not know who their father was, they became sulky and broke their promise, going off toward the east. They would go and search for someone who knew. When on a small knoll a long way from home they heard a whispered “Sh-h.”

“Are you afraid, my younger brother?” asked Nayaitnazgana­.

“No!” was the quick response.

Four times they heard the whisper, and then two of the Wind People appeared. “We saw you travelling eastward,” said they, “and came to caution you. The land is cursed with alien gods who kill for pleasure; beware of them! Why do you journey thus alone without your father?”

“Our father! Alas, we know nothing of him and are now starting on a search to learn. Do you know who he is?” asked the boys.

“Yes, the Sun is your father; but if you think to find him you will have to travel far eastward and cross the wide, wide waters.”

Nayaitnazgana­ turned to his younger brother and said, “Sa­tsa­la­, let us go.”

The Sun was then overhead. Being in fact of a holy nature, the boys covered distance rapidly and by mid-afternoon had passed well beyond the limits of their homeland. There they came upon an old woman sitting beside a ladder projecting from a hole. She asked them who they were and whither they were going. They told her to the Sun, whose sons they were, but whom they had never seen.

gend of the Navajo Hero Twins cover

The Legend of the Navajo Hero Twins Book 

Navajo creation story

Books and Posters

The Legend of the Navajo Hero Twins Book Review
Changing Woman Protects Her Sons
The Holy Beings Teach the Navajo Twins Poster
Navajo Winter Storytelling Poster
The Navajo Hero Twins Receive Their Weapons – Poster
Tsidil – Navajo Stick Game
Book Review of  ”The Legend of the Horse”
Legend of the Horse Poster
K’é – Diné (Navajo) Kinship System