Black God

Encyclopedia Article


Black God (Haashchʼééshzhiní), sometimes referred to as Darkness to Be One by Tony Hillerman, is the god of fire and creator of the stars in Navajo mythology. Not all accounts credit him with the creation of the constellations, but all credit him with the creation of fire and light as found in the stars. As one story goes, when the Black God entered the hogan the Holy People noticed Pleiades, the Hard Flint Boys, attached to his ankle. When asked why the constellation was there the Black God stomped his feet and the stars leaped up his leg until they reached his head. After he did this impressive act, the Black God was allowed to place all the other constellations in the sky. However, while he completed this task Coyote came along and also wanted to place stars; he grabbed a handful of stars and threw them in the sky. This is why there are named constellations and other random non-clustered stars in the night sky.

Photo Credit: 

"Black God (Haashchʼééshzhiní), the God of Fire in Navajo mythology" by Edward S. Curtis is licensed under Public Domain.

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