Navaho Indian Myths

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Navaho Indian Myths

Written by Aileen O'Bryan

In the late 1920s, an elderly Navaho leader, anxious to preserve the myths of his people before they were lost in the tide of modern civilization, asked Aileen O'Bryan to record the tales he told her and to publish them in a book. The storyteller was Sandoval, Hastin Tlo'tsihee (or Old Man Buffalo Grass), the first of the four chiefs of the Navaho People. Ms. O'Bryan , then living in Mesa Verde National Park, wrote down the old man's stories--as well as many chants-- for the most part just as he told them. This book is the result--a unique compilation of authentic age-old Navaho origin and creation myths, from which many Navaho tribal ceremonies eventually evolved. Besides their value as mythologic literature, these tales are also intriguing for their revelation of Navaho knowledge of climatic and astronomical phenomena: seasonal changes, the equinox, the moon's effect on the earth and tides and more.


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