Horned Monster

Encyclopedia Article


The Navajo creation story describes the emergence of the Navajos people into this world. The Holy Wind (Niłchʼi Diyin) arose through the darkness to animate and bring purpose to the Holy People (Diyin Dineʼé) in the different three lower worlds. The Holy People began journeying through the different worlds, learning important lessons in each one before moving on to the next.

In the final world, which is the world we live in now, a virgin gave birth to the Horned Monster (Déélgééd in Navajo). The baby was born without a head, and therefore the mother was counseled to abandon it. Instead of dying where she left it, the baby survived and became known as the Horned Monster, as the mother had used animal horns to pleasure herself when she was alone in the previous world.

In Navajo, Déélgééd also refers to the rhinocerus.

Photo Credit: 

"Rhinocerous beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros), March 27, 2014" by Dick Culbert

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