Encyclopedia Article


In the context in which Tony Hillerman tends to use the word "beauty," it refers to the Navajo concept of hózhǫ́, the state in which all living things are ordered, in balance, and walking in beauty. The opposite of hózhǫ́ is hóchxǫ́ǫ́, which refers to disorder and chaos in one’s life. In Hillerman's work, chaos and imbalance manifest as as physical or mental illness, infections of the body and soul contracted from contact with mainstream U.S. culture.

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"Rocky sunset, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Texas, July 8, 2010" by Gary Nored is licensed under CC BY-NC.

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