Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 57 pages of information about Navaho Houses, pages 469-518.

After a short interval the following is sung to the west: 

  House song to the West

  I[ng]i[ng]adje biyadje beqo[.g]an aiila
  Far in the west far below there a house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

  Qastceqo[.g]an bebiqo[.g]an aiila
  God of Twilight there his house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

  Naqotsoi bebiqo[.g]an aiila,
  Yellow light of evening there his house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

  Naca[ng] [)i]l’tsoi bebiqo[.g]an aiila
  Yellow corn there its house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

[)I]ntl[)i]’z alcqasai  bebiqo[.g]an     aiila
Hard possessions          there their house  was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

  Co’biaji bebiqo[.g]an aiila
  Young rain there its house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

  Cqac[)i]ci[ng] bebiqo[.g]an aiila
  Corn pollen there its house was made;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

Sa[ng]a nagai  aiila b[)i]ke      qojon
The ancients     make their presence  delightful;

  Qojon qo[.g]ane
  Delightful house.

The song to the west is also followed by the benedictory chant, as above, and after this the song which was sung to the east is repeated; but this time it is addressed to the south.  The song to the west is then repeated, but addressed to the north, and the two songs are repeated alternately until each one has been sung three times to each cardinal point.  The benedictory chant is sung between each repetition.

All the men present join in the singing under the leadership of the shaman, who does not himself sing, but only starts each song.  The women never sing at these gatherings, although on other occasions, when they get together by themselves, they sing very sweetly.  It is quite common to hear a primitive kind of part singing, some piping in a curious falsetto, others droning a deep bass.

The songs are addressed to each of the cardinal points, because in the Navaho system different groups of deities are assigned to each of these points.  The Navaho also makes a distinction between heavy rain and light rain.  The heavy rain, such as accompanies thunderstorms, is regarded as the “male rain,” while the gentle showers or “young rains,” coming directly from the house of Estsanatlehi, are regarded as especially beneficent; but both are deemed necessary to fertilize.  A distinction is also made between “hard possessions,” such as turquois and coral beads, shell ornaments, and all articles made from hard substances, and “soft possessions,” which comprise blankets and all textile substances, skins, etc.  The Navaho prays that his house may cover many of both hard and soft possessions.

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Project Gutenberg
Navaho Houses, pages 469-518 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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