Mountain Chant of the Navaho




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Arrow Dance of the Navaho
Basket Dance of Cochiti
Basket Dance of Woodcraft
Bow & Arrow Dance of Jemez
Bow & Arrow Dance Woodcraft
Comanche Dance of Woodcraft
Comanche Dance of Zuni
2nd Comanche Dance of Zunis
Corn Grinding Dance Woodcraft
Corn Grinding Song of Zuni
Coyote Dance of Woodcraft
Dance of the Mudheads at Zuni
Deer Dance of the Navahos
Deer Dance of San Juan
Dog Dance of San Juan
Dog Dance of Woodcraft
Doll Dance
Eagle Dance of Tesuque
Eagle Dance of Woodcraft
Green Corn of Santo Domingo
Harvest Dance of Zuni
Hoop Dance of Taos
Hoop Dance of Woodcraft
Hopi Snake Dance
Mountain Chant of the Navaho
Pipe Dance of San Juan
Rain Dance of Zuni

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This is a nine days' ceremony of healing, dramatizing the myth of the Navaho tribal history.  It has been described at great length by Dr. Washington Mathews, in the Fifth Ethnological Report (pub. 1887), pp. 385-467.

Natalie Curtis records one song from the MOUNTAIN CHANT in her Indians' Book, p. 408. This I have used in the following routine, based exactly on the DOLL DANCE which I saw at Gallup in the August of 1927.

Miss Curtis gives the following legend as the basis of the ceremony:

The Holy Youth, Tsilchke Digini, loved a mortal maid; and, to make her divine like himself, so that he might take her to wife, he sang holy songs over her. Thenceforth she was called Estsan Digini, the Holy Woman. Together the two gave these songs to the Navahos, to be used by them as a cure for sickness.

The song is sung in two stanzas, identical, except that the first stanza pertains to the male divinity, and the second to the female. In the second stanza, substitute "she" for "he."


Thereof he telleth,

Now of the Holy Youth,
Thereof he telleth.

Moccasins decked with black,
Thereof he telleth.

And richly broidered dress,
Thereof he telleth.

Arm-bands of eagle feathers,
Thereof he telleth.

And now the rain-plumes,
Thereof he telleth.

Now of the Male-Rain,
Thereof he telleth.

Now of the rain-drops fallen,
Thereof he telleth.

Now of the Unending Life,
Thereof he telleth.

Now of Unchanging Joy,
Thereof he telleth.

Thereof he telleth.

The Male-Rain is the heavy storm-rain, with lightning and thunder; the Female-Rain is the gentle shower. Both kinds of rain are prized in sickness for their cooling power.



Tsilchke digini,



Ka' ka pa-stran-a,

Niltsan stsoz-i,


Ka' bi datro-e,

Sa-a narai,

Bike hozhoni,


Rhythm of the Redman






Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Arrow Dance of the Navaho ] Basket Dance of Cochiti ] Basket Dance of Woodcraft ] Bow & Arrow Dance of Jemez ] Bow & Arrow Dance Woodcraft ] Comanche Dance of Woodcraft ] Comanche Dance of Zuni ] 2nd Comanche Dance of Zunis ] Corn Grinding Dance Woodcraft ] Corn Grinding Song of Zuni ] Coyote Dance of Woodcraft ] Dance of the Mudheads at Zuni ] Deer Dance of the Navahos ] Deer Dance of San Juan ] Dog Dance of San Juan ] Dog Dance of Woodcraft ] Doll Dance ] Eagle Dance of Tesuque ] Eagle Dance of Woodcraft ] Green Corn of Santo Domingo ] Harvest Dance of Zuni ] Hoop Dance of Taos ] Hoop Dance of Woodcraft ] Hopi Snake Dance ] [ Mountain Chant of the Navaho ] Pipe Dance of San Juan ] Rain Dance of Zuni ] Yei-Be-Chi ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
Introduction ] Why Dance? ] Fundamental Steps ] List of Dances ] List of Illustrations ] Songs According to Tribes ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.