Tracking Bear

Encyclopedia Article


In some versions of the Navajo origin story, Tracking Bear is a monster that was killed by Monster Slayer, one of the great hero twins. When Tracking Bear died, his body became yucca, a plant of great importance to many American cultures as it provides fruit, soap, and cordage.

The story of Tracking Bear and Monster Slayer is told in the Enemyway legend, where Tracking Bear follows Monster Slayer to the base of “beautiful mountain,” the highest point in the Chuska range, also known as Dziłkʼi Hózhóonii in Navajo. Monster Slayer shoots the bear with a lightning bolt, thus killing the bear, and initiating Tracking Bear's transformation.

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"Two bears playing in the town of the bears, Kirchenfeld, Bern, August 25, 2012" by SteFou! is licensed under CC BY.

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