The Blessing Way (1970)

The Blessing Way (1970)


Talus is the sloping pile of loose rock fragments that accumulate along the edge of a steep cliff or other landform.

curing ceremonial

In the Navajo tradition, curing ceremonials are chantways used to remove the sources of diseases. For the Navajo, ceremonies are conducted on an individual basis, rather than the systematic ceremonial approach employed by their neighbors, the Pueblos. Navajos can either request a singer (hataałii) to perform a certain ceremonial to cure an ailment, or they can go to a hand-trembler (ndilniihii), star gazer, or listener to diagnose the source of the ailment. Once the source of the ailment is known, the healer can then recommend a proper ceremony for the cure. These ceremonials can include singing, prayers, sand painting, sweats, and emetics among other elements.


An intrusive igneous rock that forms when magma slowly crystalizes beneath the earth’s surface instead of erupting through the earth's surface as a dynamic expression of volcanic activity. When magma cools underground, it forms large crystals, giving granite its speckled appearance. Granite is commonly found throughout the U.S. Southwest since there are many volcanic mountain ranges in this region.


A reference to followers of the Roman god Bacchus (also known in Greece as the god Dionysus), the god of fruitfulness, wine, and ecstasy. As he is the god of ecstasy, a bacchanal is an event filled with drunken festivity and debauchery.

winter hogan

It is not uncommon for the Navajo to have a summer and winter dwelling. A hogan is a traditional Navajo home. Hogans are generally round (female) or, less commonly, cone shaped (male), with the door facing east. The earliest hogans were called forked-stick hogans and were made from wooden poles forked together at the top to form a conical structure that was then covered with mud; the construction is very specific and the directions for building a hogan have been passed down for generations, originating with the Holy People.

A winter hogan is generally located at lower elevation pasture land. This structure is made of wooden planks and can be covered in earth for better insulation. However, winter hogans can also be used during summertime.


Subscribe to RSS - The Blessing Way (1970)