American Indian Stories Order of Things, Age of Animal Heroes

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Native American Navaho

Go to: Animal Heroes - Navaho Index

This is the story of the Four Dark Worlds and the Fifth, the World we live in. Some medicine men tell us that there are two worlds above us, the first is the World of the Spirits of Living Things, the second is the Place of Melting into One.

First Man planned to build a home.

He dug a shallow pit in the earth and raised the poles. For the main poles First Man used the Black Bow, which is called Altqin dilqil. There were two parts of this Black Bow, and two other parts, one cut from the Male Reed and one from the Female Reed. The other poles were those at hand. Then the whole structure was covered with earth and grass, and the first dwelling was built. First Woman ground white corn into meal, and they powdered the poles with the meal, and they sprinkled it inside the dwelling from East to West.

First Man said as he sprinkled the cornmeal: "May my home be sacred and beautiful, and may the days be beautiful and plenty."

Today there is a hogan ceremony, and a song is sung as the poles are raised.

Now after the first hogan was built and they had seen four dark and four light clouds rising First Man said that they were tired and that they must rest. He asked if anyone had brought the river stones. The badger said that he had five. First Man said that he would heat four and leave one. He had a plan to build two sweat houses out of the remaining poles.

There are four parts of a chant sung at this time. It is the Sweat House Chant. One part is like this:

He made it. He made it. He made it.
At the place where the people emerged from the underworld,
Near the Lake of Emergence, he made it.
He made it with the female wood and the male wood.
He made it with the Black Mesa rock.
He made it with the hard river rock.
He made it with the help of "The Most High Power Whose Ways Are Fearful."

note: The Dark or Black Bow is symbolic of the Slayers of the Enemies. It is a symbol of the overthrow of evil.

note: The Male and the Female Reeds are the symbols of the male and the female principles.

Many chants are sung during this ceremony, the Horned Toad Chant, the Twin Brothers Chant, the Bear Chant, and the Mirage Stone Chant.

Go to: Animal Heroes - Navaho Index

Native American Indian Stories Myths
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