Fast Facts > Navajo Culture > Traditional Beliefs

 

 

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Traditional Beliefs

Rain
Thunder storms represent the male rain. The female rain, on the other hand, is gentle, with a soothing effect. In Navajo belief, there is a male and female to all things above, below, and around us. To Navajos, rain is one of the four main elements of Earth; light, air, and pollen are the others. It is said by wise ones that if you have no respect for the rain and your thoughts and words are bad while it rains, the sacred forces will punish you. The Navajo have a ceremony that restores harmony and balance with nature.

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Corn

Corn is one of the main staples of Native American life. Not only is it an important food item, but it is an important part of the Navajo prayer. Corn pollen is used in ceremonies as a blessing, and is offered
in prayer. It is also used to make many traditional food dishes such as the corn cake made for the ceremony when young girls come of age.


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Cradle Board
Navajos believe the flat boards of the wooden cradle will give their babies strength. The cradle board is blessed with corn pollen, prayers, songs, and good thoughts for the baby.


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Wedding Basket
Traditional Wedding Basket is used in religious ceremonies and traditional weddings, the wedding basket has a distinct pattern of representation. The edge of the basket, a lighter color, represents the brightening skies as four points of the sacred mountains. The opening into the center (which Navajos believe should never be pointed downward) signifies an outlet for our thoughts. The bright red weave is the hallmark of sunshine, and is a blessing for Navajo health and spirituality. Black is for darkness and a time to rest our bodies and minds. The lacing of the weave around the basket's edge represents our roots and human life. And the very center of the basket portrays the emergence of the Dine', the opening for the First Holy One to come into the first world.

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