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Ceremonial of Hasjelti Dailjis and Mythical Sand Painting of the Navajo Indians   By: (1840-1888)

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Ceremonial of Hasjelti Dailjis and Mythical Sand Painting of the Navajo Indians

by James Stevenson

Edition 1, (September 2006)

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION. CONSTRUCTION OF THE MEDICINE LODGE. FIRST DAY. PERSONATORS OF THE GODS. SECOND DAY. DESCRIPTION OF THE SWEAT HOUSES. SWEAT HOUSES AND MASKS. PREPARATION OF THE SACRED REEDS (CIGARETTE) AND PRAYER STICKS. THIRD DAY. FIRST CEREMONY. SECOND CEREMONY. THIRD CEREMONY. FOURTH CEREMONY. FOURTH DAY. FIRST CEREMONY. SECOND CEREMONY. THIRD CEREMONY. FOURTH CEREMONY. FIFTH CEREMONY. SIXTH CEREMONY. FIFTH DAY. FIRST CEREMONY. SECOND CEREMONY. THIRD CEREMONY. SIXTH DAY. SEVENTH DAY. EIGHTH DAY. NINTH DAY. FIRST CEREMONY. SECOND CEREMONY. SONG OF THE ETSETHLE. PRAYER TO THE ETSETHLE. CONCLUSION THE DANCE. MYTHS OF THE NAVAJO. CREATION OF THE SUN. HASJELTI AND HOSTJOGHON. THE FLOATING LOGS. NAIYENESGONY AND TOBAIDISCHINNI. THE BROTHERS. THE OLD MAN AND WOMAN OF THE FIRST WORLD.

ILLUSTRATIONS

FIG. 115. Exterior lodge. FIG. 116. Interior lodge. FIG. 117. Gaming ring. FIG. 118. Sweat house. PLATE CXII. A, Rainbow over eastern sweat house; B, Rainbow over western sweat house PLATE CXIII. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXIV. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXV. Masks: 1, Naiyenesyong; 2, 3, Tobaidischinne; 4, 5, Hasjelti; 6, Hostjoghon; 7, Hostjobokon; 8, Hostjoboard PLATE CXVI. Blanket rug and medicine tubes PLATE CXVII. 1, Pine boughs on sand bed; 2, Apache basket containing yucca suds lined with corn pollen; 3, Basket of water surface covered with pine needles PLATE CXVIII. Blanket rug and medicine tubes and sticks PLATE CXIX. Blanket rug and medicine tube PLATE CXX. First sand painting PLATE CXXI. Second sand painting PLATE CXXII. Third sand painting PLATE CXXIII. Fourth sand painting

INTRODUCTION.

During my visit to the Southwest, in the summer of 1885, it was my good fortune to arrive at the Navajo Reservation a few days before the commencement of a Navajo healing ceremonial. Learning of the preparation for this, I decided to remain and observe the ceremony, which was to continue nine days and nights. The occasion drew to the place some 1,200 Navajos. The scene of the assemblage was an extensive plateau near the margin of Keam's Canyon, Arizona.

A variety of singular and interesting occurrences attended this great event mythologic rites, gambling, horse and foot racing, general merriment, and curing the sick, the latter being the prime cause of the gathering. A man of distinction in the tribe was threatened with loss of vision from inflammation of the eyes, having looked upon certain masks with an irreligious heart. He was rich and had many wealthy relations, hence the elaborateness of the ceremony of healing. A celebrated theurgist was solicited to officiate, but much anxiety was felt when it was learned that his wife was pregnant. A superstition prevails among the Navajo that a man must not look upon a sand painting when his wife is in a state of gestation, as it would result in the loss of the life of the child. This medicine man, however, came, feeling that he possessed ample power within himself to avert such calamity by administering to the child immediately after its birth a mixture in water of all the sands used in the painting. As I have given but little time to the study of Navajo mythology, I can but briefly mention such events as I witnessed, and record the myths only so far as I was able to collect them hastily. I will first describe the ceremony of Yebitchai and give then the myths (some complete and others incomplete) explanatory of the gods and genii figuring in the Hasjelti Dailjis (dance of Hasjelti) and in the nine days' ceremonial, and then others independent of these. The ceremony is familiarly called among the tribe, "Yebitchai," the word meaning the giant's uncle... Continue reading book >>




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