The Dark Wind (1982)

The Dark Wind (1982)


A flying projectile shot using a bow, a curved piece of wood held in tension by string, gut, or plastic tied between the two ends. Traditionally, an arrow consists of a straight shaft, made of wood, with a stone “arrow head” projectile point attached on the front. Additionally, the back of the shaft is hafted (indented) and covered with feathers to facilitate the flight and direction of the arrow once it is shot. The bow and arrow are primarily used for hunting and the use of this weapon in the Four Corner’s region began during the end of the Basketmaker time period (A.D. 300-800).

Because of the important advantages that the arrow gave to those peoples who mastered their manufacture and use, the arrow also gained symbolic value. Worked onto the surfaces of ceramics and into textiles and sandpaintings, arrows can represent strength, virility, defense, protection, and courage.


In Puebloan culture, fraternities are associated with "medicine," curative powers, and the ability to conjure or control natural phenomena to benefit the health of individuals or the community. In this sense, members of fraternities can be considered traditional, ceremonial, spiritual, and biological healers, who acquired their specific knowledges, traditions, and ceremonies from kachina (spirits) over time. These different knowledges and ceremonials are carefully guarded and maintained by the different fraternities, but their effects are shared broadly throughout the pueblo to benefit the community.

In the Pueblo tradition, one is born into a clan, and that clan may historically associate itself with a specific kiva society, but fraternities transcend the more static social associations of clans and kivas. It is typical for one who has benefited from a fraternal healing to petition to join that fraternity; in part, the specialized knowledge of that healing has been imparted to its benefactor through his or her experience. Many fraternities, therefore, are open to men and women. In addition, one can move between fraternities, or belong to several at once. With their discrete specializations, fraternal participation in the life of the pueblo occurs on almost daily occurrences, as needed. Kiva society ceremonials, on the other hand, tend to have annual cycles, and rather than focusing on treating the symptoms of an individual, they work to maintain natural equilibrium and universal balance.


A large, black bird from the genus Corvus, which also includes ravens and jackdaws. Crows are omnivorous birds that consume carrion (dead animal flesh), berries, and insects. Crows are also one of the most intelligent and social animals on the planet, having the ability to form and use tools, engage in sports, and demonstrate the ability to recognize individual facial features and expressions in humans.

Because crows are found on almost every continent, they have a place in many cultural traditions around the world. In some versions of the Navajo tradition, for example, crows are considered dangerous because they eat the flesh of dead animals, which is taboo. On the other had, the ancient Greeks believed that crows could tell the future. In Tibetan Buddhism, the protector of the Dharma takes the form of a crow.


This term refers to female members of the family Canidae, including wolves, foxes, jackals, coyotes and domesticated dogs. This term first appeared in the 11th century; the Middle English form is bicche. The meaning of this word has been appropriated as an abusive term referring to difficult or spiteful women.

First Man

While there are many different versions of the Navajo Origin Myth, the general outlines of the myth are present in all versions, and First Woman (Áłtsé Asdzą́ą́), usually alongside First Man (Áłtsé Hastiin), is present in every version. First Man and First Woman are considered the builders of this world, responsible for creating the four sacred mountains, the first hogan, and the holy figures. First Man then completes a night-long ceremony where he creates beauty, balance, and order. It is into this world that the child of First Man and First Woman, Changing Woman, is born. It is Changing Woman’s twin boys, Monster Slayer and Born for Water, who defeat the monsters in this world and make it safe for the Navajo people to live in. Changing Woman takes over creation duties from First Man and First Woman.


A child born out of wedlock (marriage), who is therefore considered "illegitimate." Often used as a vernacular insult, suggesting that an individual is somehow less than fully deserving of the rights and protections associated with membership in a community, regardless of the marital status of his or her biological parents.


Anthropology is the study of human cultures past and present and includes the four sub-fields of physical anthropology, cultural anthropology, archaeology, and linguistics.


A person who makes, smuggles, and sells illegal objects. Historically the term referred to people who smuggled alcohol concealed in their boots.


More often spelled bilagáana, this word is an Anglicization of the Navajo word used to refer to people who have white skin.


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