People: The Navajo believed in good and evil.
They believed that everything in the universe had a purpose - be it
good or evil. It was important that the universe remained in balance.
If not, evil could take over. Their ceremonies were designed to
Their Holy People were supernatural
beings with the power to hurt or help the Navajo people.
Some of the
Holy People were named Talking God, Changing Woman, Bear, Ant, and
A Sing: A
sing was a ceremony conducted by a medicine man that was
designed to restore balance. The dance steps and the song were very
old and complicated.
A medicine man might perform a sing
to cure the sick, protect a family, cleanse a home, encourage crop
growth, or protect the herds.
Each sing was a prayer to
the Holy People, the supernatural beings that the Navajo believed
watched over life.
were ceremonies that requested something from the gods. A Blessingway
ceremony might be conducted to ask the gods to bless a new marriage or
the birth of a baby, or to protect a warrior from his enemies. Some
ceremonies lasted several days.
It was important to conduct ceremonies in the exact and right
manner. If the Holy People were happy with the
ceremony, they would restore the balance between good and evil, and
grant the request. But, if the Holy People were not happy with the
ceremony, your request might backfire on you - the evil spirits would
have a chance to take over and hurt the marriage or the baby or the
Navaho sand paintings were part of a healing
ceremony. They were made as part of a sing or a blessingway.
Paintings were made on the floor of a hut or on clean sand. Some
measured ten feet by twelve feet. The paintings were made with colored
sand, sifted carefully between the second and third finger.
special paintings told a story of a magical event. Sand paintings that
to heal someone were destroyed before dark.
Practices: In olden times, when someone died,
their body was buried and their hogan burned down. People who attended
the funeral took a zigzag route home so that no evil ghost could
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