Big Mountain, Arizona

Encyclopedia Article


The most noticeable geologic formation in Black Mesa, Arizona. This mountain, called Dził Ntsaaí in the Navajo language, translates to "Extensive Mountain" in English. Big Mountain is a sacred Navajo site that appears in many stories, prayers, ceremonies, and has long been a place for gathering natural materials used for medicine and healing. According to tradition, Navajos believe that their creator and creation story placed them specifically in their land, which is located near Big Mountain.

In more recent history, Big Mountain has become a site of dispute, as it was the dividing line between the Hopi and Navajo Joint Use Area. Many Navajos have been displaced and relocated from this land that they consider sacred.

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"Black Mesa Area Near Kayenta, Arizona, January 9, 2004" by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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