Dinétah: Homeland

When Altsé Hastiin, First Man, and Altsé Asdzáá, First Woman, climbed into this world, they recreated the mountains from the underworld.

In the east, Altsé Hastiin and Altsé Asdzáá pinned Sisnaajiní to the earth with a bolt of lightning, and wrapped the heights with a sheet of dawn. In the south, they pegged Tsoodzil down with a ray of sunlight and covered the peak with blue sky. To the west, they held Dook'o'ooslííd with a sunbeam and draped the snowy mountaintop with a yellow cloud; and to the north, they fastened Dibé Ntsaa to the earth with a rainbow and over the top, they placed a blanket of darkness.

In the center, Ch'ool'í'í was anchored by the Female Mirage Stone under a streak of falling rain. Here wind would give life to Changing Woman and White Shell Woman, Asdzáá Nádleehé, and Yoolgai Asdzáá. Here, too, would be born the Hero Twins, Naayéé' Neizghání and Tó Bájísh Chíní, conceived through sunlight and water.

Dzil Ná'oodilii they held fast with the Male Mirage Stone. Here Na'ashjéii Asdzáá, Spider Woman, would tell the Twins how to find their father, Jóhonaa'éí the Sun Bearer. From here, the Twins would set off to kill Yé'iitsoh Tla'ínaagai, the Big Giant, over by Tsoodzil. Here, Born for Water stayed behind to wait for his brother's call. His brother, Monster Slayer, would leave to battle more monsters, born of the time when men and women failed to live in harmony.

Here as well, in Dinétah, the two brothers made their home at Tó Aheedlí, where the San Juan and Los Pinos Rivers join. Here would come knowledge of ceremonies to heal and restore harmony, and here would begin the gathering of the clans which today make up the Navajo people.


Navajo History | Early Archaeology | Pueblito Architecture | Clothing & Tools
New Spain (1600-1700) | Modern Archaeology | Timeline | Acknowledgements
Exhibition Schedule