Encyclopedia Article


According to what is known of Navajo mythology, Father Sky and Mother Earth are considered to be the parents of everything. Father Sky is sacred, as are his offerings: air, wind, thunder, lightning, and rain. Mother Earth is equally revered, as is everything that she offers: mountains, vegetation, animals, and water.

Father Sky and Mother Earth appear in many of the sandpaintings associated with Navajo healing ceremonies. They are invoked in these paintings not because of their part in a particular story but because of their strength and overall importance. In the body of Mother Earth are the four sacred plants—corn, bean, squash and tobacco. In the body of Father Sky are the constellations, including the Milky Way, represented by the intertwined zigzag lines of dots, and the sun and the moon, represented by the circles with "horns."

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"New Mexico Monsoon Sky, August 19, 2011" by Leaflet is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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