Navajo Way

Encyclopedia Article


When Hillerman refers to “Navajo Way,” he is referencing the concept of hózhǫ́. Hózhǫ́ is the state in which all living things are ordered, in balance, and walking in beauty. This term encompasses the Navajo world view, one in which all things are peaceful and harmonious. 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 an illness, sickness, or infection obtained from contact with the modern, predominantly White culture and values of the mainstream U.S..

Photo Credit: 

Beautyway Chant sandpainting from the Navajo Emergence Myth, made in 1969 by Fred Stevens. ( 071137).Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, New MExico History Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Term Type: