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January 15, 2002

Navajo words from the Origin Story

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Source: Navajo Legend

The construction of the conical hooghan is based upon the description of the hooghan of First Man related in the Origin Myth as told in Blessing Way [Hózhójí].

In this home, the poles were made of jewels, white shell [yoogaii], abalone [diichii], turquoise [doot’izhii] and jet [bááshzhinii].


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When it was found that the original home was too small to contain all of the gathering, it was enlarged by simpling blowing on the poles of jewel until the space was sufficiently enlarged.

The materials with which the hooghan was constructed were then serenaded.

The South [Shádi’ááh] pole was called the pole of Mountain Woman; the west [‘E’e’aah] pole was called the pole of Water Woman; the north [náhooks] pole was the pole of Corn Woman.

The other materials filling the space between the poles was also sung to as well as the rainbow [nááts’íílid] cover over all.

These songs [sin] were called the chief or planning hooghan songs [sin].

The first no-sleep ceremonial was then held and thus established the hooghan as the place of worship for the Blessing Way [Hózhójí] and all other ceremonials.

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