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The Mountain Chant: A Navajo Ceremony


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OTHER SONGS AND EXTRACTS.

264. SONG OF THE PROPHET TO THE SAN JUAN RIVER.

Aïena.

1. Nagâî çonilínië, nagâî çonilínië
2. Biçhyísgo cinì` ¢eyà`
    Haïniyèa, haïniyèa, âîèe niò haïneyàhe, oöhè.

3. Nagai çointyèlië, nagâî çonilínië,
4. Biçhyísgo cinì` ¢eyà`
    Haïniyèa, etc.

5. Nagâî san biçòië, nagâî çonilínië,
6. Biçhyísgo cinì` ¢eyà`
    Haïniyèa, etc.

255. Translation.--1. Nagâî, that; çonilíni, flowing water, a river. 2, 4, 6. Biçhyísgo, across it; cinì`, my mind; ¢eyà`, it goes, or, it comes, it wanders to or from. 3. Çointyèli, broad water. 5. San biçò, water of old age.

256. For origin and free translation of this song, see paragraph 22.

257. SONG OF THE BUILDING OF THE DARK CIRCLE.

Oeà oeà, eà eà, he he;
Oeà oeà, eà eeà, he he, ee nan a.

1. Dsilyi` Neyáni, cayolèli cayolèli;
2. Tcoyaj ¢ilhyíli, cayolèli cayolèli;
3. Tsíca alìli, cayolèli cayolèli;
4. Bíja ¢igíngo, cayolèli cayolèli;

5. Tcikè-¢igìni, cayolèli cayolèli;
6. Tcoyaj çolíji, cayolèli cayolèli;
7. Tsí¢a alìli, cayolèli cayolèli;
8. Bíja cigíngo, cayolèli cayolèli.

258. Translation.--1. Dsilyi` Neyáni, Reared Within the Mountains, the prophet who instituted these ceremonies; cayolèli, he carries [something long and flexible, as a branch or sapling] for me. 2, 6. Tcoyaj, a spruce sapling, diminutive of tco, spruce; ¢ilhyíl, black; çolíj, blue. 3, 7. Tsí¢a alìli (usually tsí¢a alìli), truly a dance implement. 4, 8. Bíja ¢igíngo (usually bíja-ye¢igíngo), a holy treasure, a magic wand.

259. Free translation.

Reared Within the Mountains carries for me;
A black spruce sapling, he carries for me;
An implement of the rites, he carries for me;
A holy treasure, he carries for me.

The Holy Young Woman carries for me;
A blue spruce sapling, she carries for me;
An implement of the rites, she carries for me;
A holy treasure, she carries for me.

260. The evergreen poles used in the dance and in making the "dark circles," to both of which this song probably refers, were, in all cases where I have observed them, made of piñon and not of spruce; but all dances I have witnessed were at altitudes of about six thousand feet, where piñon was abundant and spruce rare. In those portions of the Navajo country with which I am familiar the spruce (Pseudotsuga douglassii) grows plentifully at the height of eight thousand feet, sparsely below that. There is good reason for believing that the spruce is the true sacred tree of these rites and that the piñon is only a convenient substitute. The song is called Iluásjin Beniçà, "that with which the dark circle is built." It is sung by the shaman at the eastern gate, while the young men are building the corral. (Paragraph 124.) I have other


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slightly different versions of it, probably suitable for different occasions. The form given above is recited, under ordinary circumstances, when the patient is a woman.

261. PRAYER TO DSILYI' NEYÁNI.

1. Dsilyi` Neyáni!
2. Dsil banaçà!
3. Tsilkè!
4. Naçàni!
5. Nigèl icla`.
6. Na¢è hila`.
7. Cikè caä¢ilil.
8. Citcàç caä¢ilil.
9. Citsès caä¢ilil.
10. Cinì` caä¢ilil.
11. Cinè caä¢ilil.
12. Qojògo qa¢àlçe aci¢ilil.
13. Citsídje qojolel.
14. Cikèçe qojolel.
15. Cizàç qaqojolel.
16. Qojòni qaslè,
17. Qojòni qaslè,
18. Qojòni qaslè,
19. Qojòni qaslè,

262. Translation.--1. The name of the prophet. 2. Dsil, mountains, banaçà, chief (or master for them. 3. Tsilkè, young man. 4. Naçàni, chieftain. 5. Nigèl, your peculiar sacrifice, i. e., the keçàn; icla`, I have made. 6. Na¢è, a smoke, i. e., the cigarettes (paragraph 87), for you; hila`, is made. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Cikè, my feet; Citcàç, my lower extremities; citsès, my body; cini`, my mind; cinè, my voice; caä¢ilil, for me restore (as it was before) thou wilt. 12. Qojògo, in a beautiful manner; qa¢àlçe, repaired, mended; aci¢ilil, restore me thou wilt. 13, 14. Citsídje, in the direction before me; cikèçe, from behind me; qojolel, wilt thou terrestrially beautify. 15. Cizàç, my words; qaqojolel, wilt thou personally beautify. 16, 17, 18, 19. Qojòni, in earthly beauty; qaslè, it is made, it is done.

263. In other prayers, closely resembling this in form, the shaman adds: it Beautify all that is above me. Beautify all that is below me. Beautify all things around me."

264. The division into verses is that of the chanter. He pronounces the name in the first line; the patient repeats it after him. Then he gives out the words in the second line, and so on. For free translation, See paragraph 88.

265. SONG OF THE RISING SUN DANCE.

Oöniyàye, oöniyàye, oöniyàye yáhe yáhe heyiyoè [twice]

1. Qanaïçác¢e
2. Tsilkè-¢igìni
3. Kátso-yisçàni
4. Yìyolnakòe
5. Qano qakòsko.
6. Tcihanoâîe
7. Akos nisínle.
    Yáhe yáhe eïa âî.

Oöniyàye, etc.

8. Inaïçá¢e
9. Tcikè-¢igìni
10. Awètsal-yisçàni
11. Yìyolnakòe
12. Qano qakòsko.
13. Klehanoâîe
14. Akos nisínle.
    Yáhe yáhe eïa âî.

266. Translation.--1. Qanaïçác¢e, from where it (the sun) rises. 2. Tsilkè-¢igìni, Holy Young Man. 3. Kátso-yisçàni, the great plumed arrow. 4, 11. Yìyolna`, he swallowed slowly or continuously. 5, 12. Qano qakòsko, it comes out by degrees. 6. Tcihanoâîe, the sun. 7, 14. Akos nisín, he is satisfied. 8. Inaïçá¢e, from where it acts. 9. Tcikè-¢igìni, Holy Young Woman. 10. Awètsal-yisçàni, prepared or plumed cliff rose, i. e., cliff rose arrow. 13. Klehanoâîe, the moon.


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267. Free translation.

Where the sun rises,
The Holy Young Man
The great plumed arrow
Has swallowed
And withdrawn it.
The sun
Is satisfied.

Where the sun sets,
The Holy Young Woman
The cliff rose arrow
Has swallowed
And withdrawn it.
The moon
Is satisfied.

268. This song is sung during the dance or alil described in paragraph 142. The conception of the poet seems to be that, the dance of the great plumed arrow having been properly performed, the sun should be satisfied and willing to do the bidding of the dancers, i. e., rise when desired, on the pole.

269. INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN TO THE AKÁNINILI

1. Çi` betcána nilìnlel.
2. Çi` ¢a`naniltyèl¢o.
3. Çi` beniqo¢ílsinlel. Aïbinìgi nizè ¢ela`.
4. ¢a`yiltsísgo, ¢a`bokògo tse`na akàn hyis¢inìle.
5. Tsin etlol akàn bàçhyis hyis¢inìle; ako bàçhyis hyis¢ilçále.
6. Tse` elkàgi akàn hyis¢inìle.
7. Akoï kátso-yisçàn; aïbinigi djoçile, qo¢igínçe behoèqo¢ilsin.

270. Translation.--1. Çi`, this; betcána, a thing to rise with (as you progress); nilìnlel, will make for yon. 2. Çi`, this; ¢a`naniltyèl¢o, will carry you along anywhere. 3. Beniqo¢ílsinlel, by means of it people will know you; aïbinìgi, for this reason, or purpose; nizè, your neck; ¢ela`, it hangs (once) around. 4. ¢a`yiltsísgo, at any little valley (yiltsis, a little valley); ¢a`bokògo, at any gully or arroyo (boko`, arroyo); tse`na, across; akin, meal; hyis¢inìle, he sprinkles always across. 6. Tsin etlol, the root of a tree; akàn, meal; bàçhyis, across it; hyis¢inìle, he sprinkles across; ako, then; hyis¢ilçále, he steps across. 6. Tse` elkàgi, on flat rocks; akàn, meal; hyis¢inìle, he sprinkles across. 7. Akoï, then, next; kátso-yisçàn, the great prepared arrow--so says the chanter, but he really refers to the in¢ia`, or çobolçà, the plumed wand which akáninili carries; aïbinigi, for this purpose; djoçile, he carries it (in the hand); qo¢igínçe, from a holy place (origin, holy); behoèqo¢ilsin, by means of it people know him.

271. For free translation, see paragraph 102.

279. PRAYER OF THE PROPHET TO HIS MASK

1. ¢a`andje qahasdsìgo ançèlini, cilìn.
2. Hyininàleni, cilìn.
3. Ayàn¢an çocisyi'go¢olèl¢a, cilìn.
4. Caï¢inilìl.

273. Translation.--1. ¢a`andje, at any time to you; qahasdsìgo, when I spoke; ançèlini, always you made or did it, i. e., granted my request or assisted me; cilìn, my domestic animal, my pet. 2. Hyininàleni, you were alive (once); cilìn, my pet. 3. Ayàn¢an, be sure, take care; ço¢a, negative; cisyi`go, that I die; ¢olèl, I desire, I beg (the divided negative makes one word of the sentence). 4. Caï¢inilìl, watch thou for me) or over me.

274. For free translation, ace paragraph 27.


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275. LAST WORDS OF THE PROPHET.

1. Aqalàni, citsíli.
2. Cakaïlçe ye qo¢igín¢e.
3. ¢a`çonasiçilsèl¢a.
4. ¢a`hoelçìgo ¢a`¢eltcílgo, nagâîga cinàï anìla dsinisínle,
5. Ça`no`çílgo ayàc in¢i¢alàgo, anilçàni in¢i¢alàgo nagâîga cinàï binibikègola` dsinisínle.

276. Translation.-1. Aqalàni, greeting (farewell, in this case); citsíli, my younger brother. 2. Cakaïlçe, for me they have come; ye, the yays, the gods; qo¢igín¢e, from a holy or supernatural place. 3. (¢a`, any, on any occasion, etc.; ço¢a, negative; na, again; si¢ilsèl, you will see me); ¢a`çonasiçilsèl¢a, you will never see me again. 4. ¢a`hoelçìgo, on any occasion as the rain passes, i. e., whenever it rains; ¢a`¢eltcílgo, whenever it thunders; nagâîga, in that; cinàï, my elder brother, anìla, is his voice; dsinisínle, you will think so. 5. Ça`no`çílgo, whenever they (crops) are ripening, i. c., in harvest time; ayàc, small birds; in¢i¢alàgo, of all kinds; anilçàni, grasshoppers; nagâîga, in that, in those; cinàï, my elder brother; binibikègola`, is his ordering, his design (the trail of his mind); dsinisínle, so you will think.

277. For free translation, see paragraph 79.


Navajo Texts | Mt Chant Contents | Addendum: The Suppressed Sections from the 1884 Edition of the Mountain Chant

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