Tonenili : The Rain God
At a glance
|Region||United States of America|
|Associated With||Rain, Trickery, Comedy|
The Navajo God of Water is known as Tonenili, who is responsible for bringing rain, snow, and ice to the people of New Mexico and Arizona and is also known to cause lightning and thunder.
During Navaho ceremonies, people dress up as Tonenili and perform a ritual in which they play the role of the god of water. This type of humor is usually welcomed in serious rituals, such as the Navajo night chant. The night chant is performed to help people who are sick or those in need of a break from the world. It can be a captivating experience if the chant is repeated over and over again. During this time, Tonenili is the main character, and he can also light up the mood by throwing water around.
Tonenili is a deity who carries a water pot. In some cultures, he is depicted as a masked man who enacts a character known as a comedian. In other myths, he is depicted as a fool who dances around to show his approval of what’s happening around him. He often argues with the Navajo god of gambling Nohoilpe. During times of drought or misfortune, it has been said that he lost a bet with the latter.
He is often referred to as Tó Neinilii.
Powers and Abilities
Tonenili is a very clever guy who likes to play tricks. Although he doesn’t mean any harm, he can sometimes cause downpours while people are waiting for the blue sky. He was a very clever guy who likes to play tricks. He was able to protect the first Navajo from a water monster known as Tééhootsdii.
Modern Day Influence
During modern rituals and dances, sometimes, he would perform magic in order to show his appreciation for the people of the Navajo Nation. He wore a mask and performed wild dances to demonstrate his appreciation for their blessings. He also suggested that people try to find other ways of addressing the world’s problems instead of focusing on the rain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the Navajo god of water?
Tonenili is the god of water according to the stories and mythology of the Navajo tribe in North America.
Is Tonenili the same as To' Nenili?
They are the same and are just spelt in different ways according to the person who is writing about it.
How is Tonenili represented?
A deity given to having fun and playing tricks, Tó Neinilii carries a water pot. In the tribal dances he is represented by a masked man who enacts the part of a clown.
What does Tonenili mean?
Tonenili literally means the sprinkler as he is known to spill water on the viewers during a performance.