Blessing Way

Encyclopedia Article


Commonly spelled Blessingway. As opposed to the other Navajo (Diné) Chant Ways, which are used to effect a cure of a problem, the Blessingway (Hózhójí) is used to bless the "one sung over," to ensure good luck, good health, and blessings for everything that pertains to them. It is also thought of as being "for good hope." Blessingway ceremonies can be performed for expectant mothers shortly before birth is due, or young men leaving for the armed forces. The Blessingway ceremony is performed frequently.

The name of the rite, Hózhójí, is translated Blessingway, but that is certainly not an exact translation. In the Navajo language (diné bizaad) the term encompasses everything that is understood as good, as opposed to evil, for man. The root of the Blessingway ceremony, hózhó, encompasses such concepts as beauty, harmony, success, perfection, well-being, order, and ideal.

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