Fire Man (Fire God or Hashjeshjin)

Encyclopedia Article


When the Navajo First People came to the present world, they did not realize that part of the time it would be very cold. In order to get warm, Coyote crafted a plan to steal fire for warmth from the Fire Man who lived and guarded his fire on Fire Mountain. Eventually, Coyote did steal the fire by tying a very long stick to his tail and lowering it down to get fire, bringing it back to the people.

Fire Man tried stop him by shooting arrows, but Coyote ran in a zig zag to avoid them. Unfortunately, this made his run back to the People longer and the stick burnt out and scorched his tail, which is why coyotes now have black tipped tails. His tail also set fire to the ground he ran on, which is why the people needed to summon Frog to put out the fire.

Photo Credit: 

"Navajo sandpainting with Coyote in the upper right quadrant stealing fire from the Fire God in the lower left quadrant." Orma J. Smith Musuem of Natural History, the College of Idaho.

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