Encounter between the Camps

Encyclopedia Article


A part of the Enemyway ceremony, which is performed to cure people from illness caused by coming into contact with an "enemy," typically someone or an experience outside the Navajo culture and traditional lifeways. According to some histories of the Enemyway, it is sung in order to protect Navajos from harmful ghosts of slain warriors. In the past, this ceremonial was used for returning warriors in order to rid them of the harmful effects of these evil spirits, or chindi. The "Encounter Between the Camps" portion of the ceremony occurs on the final day of the nine-day ceremony, when the "enemy" camp symbolically attacks the patient’s group. Later, the patient’s group brings food and gifts to the enemy's camp.

Published Works: 
Term Type: