Mud Clan

Encyclopedia Article


The Mud Clan originated with Changing Woman, one of the most important and benevolent deities in the navajo cosmology. By rubbing the skin from various parts of her body, Changing Woman generated enough material to create matched pairs. The original members of the Mud Clan were rubbed from Changing Woman's left arm. After nurturing the six pairs, and nurturing within them ceremonial ways and observances, she sent the pairs off with baskets of gifts. In the basket of the Mud Clan she included images of talking prayer sticks and canes of jet. As these early Navajo journied to find where they would plant their cornfields, Changing woman gifted them with animal helpers, and the Mud Clan received the porcupine.

The Navajo (Diné) tribe is comprised of more than forty family lineages--or clans--that claim common ancestry. According to traditional lore, the Hasht ł 'ishnii (Mud Clan) is one of the original six lineages formed within the Navajo People, which included the Standing House Clan, Bitter Water Clan, Near the Water Clan, Mud Clan, Water Edge Clan, and Two Streams Meet Clan.

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