Navajo Creation Story

The Navajo creation story is a beautiful tale that is not well known outside the Navajo Nation. It details the emergence of the Navajo people into their homeland.

The First World

According to the Navajo creation story, the first world was small and pitch black. There were four seas and in the middle, an island with a single pine tree existed. Ants, dragonflies, locusts, and beetles lived there and made up the Air-Spirit People of the first world.

Each of the four seas was ruled by one supernatural being, the Big Water Creature, the Blue Heron, the Frog, and White Thunder. Above the sea, there was a black cloud, a white cloud, a blue cloud, and a yellow cloud. The female spirit of a life lived in the black cloud while the male spirit of dawn lived in the white.

When the blue and yellow clouds came together, the First Woman, while the black and white came together to form the First Man.

The First Woman saw the light of the First Man’s fire and tried to reach him three times before she finally found his home. He asked her to live with him and the First Woman agreed.

The Great Coyote was formed in water and came to the First Man and First woman, telling them he was hatched from an egg and knew all the secrets of the water and the skies. Shortly after, a second coyote appeared named First Angry, who brought witchcraft into the world.

The next part of the Navajo creation story involves the First Man, First Women, First Angry, and the coyote born in the water climbing into the second world, followed by all other creatures.

The Second World

When they got to the second world, they found other beings living there, including various types of birds. A swallow welcomed them and they lived in harmony together for 23 days until one of the Air-Spirit People tried to sleep with the swallow chief’s wife. The swallow chief found out and banished the newcomers who traveled to the third world.

The Third World

In this Navajo legend, the third world is called the Yellow World and was home to six mountains, where the holy people lived. These holy people were immortal and traveled by following rainbows. There was the Talking God, Black God, Water Sprinkler, and House God.

In this world, First Woman gave birth to a set of twins, who were neither male nor female. Four days later, a second set of twins were born, a male and female and after 20 days, five pairs of twins had been born.

The mountain gods each took a set of twins, teaching them how to pray and wear masks before returning them to their parents. Over the next eight winters, the twins found mates and brought many people into being.

The Fourth World

The people game into the fourth world before the sun and moon were created. They were on an island with high cliffs in the middle of a bubbling lake. With help from the Wind God, people were able to leave the island. First Man and First Woman built the first hogan to live in.