Navajo Mythology refers to the history and legends of the Native American people of Navaja, one of the most famous tribes within Mexico and Arizona. Also known as the Diné, the people possess a strong culture characterized by legends and myths that have been passed down from generation to generation. Even the emergence and origins of the Navajo people are hinged on legends and myths.
Navajo mythology has it that the gods created four mountains within the plains of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona to serve as a boundary between the people and the rest of the world, as well as the creation of four rivers serving as protectors to the people. It is believed that before the Diné settled here on earth, they had sojourned across territories; territories even below the earth. Some parts of Navajo mythology believe that they arise from Navajo Dam in New Mexico while some other parts claim they emerged from the La Plata Mountains of Colorado.
Navajo Mythology also speaks of the guardian of the Spider Rock, the spider woman. The Spider Rock is a large rock that is located in Arizona’s Canyon de Chelly National Park and was protected by spider woman. The people believed that spider woman possessed great supernatural powers which enabled her to protect the people from giant monsters. Her reign was felt mostly between the time the tribe was transiting from the third to the fourth world.
Another story in Navajo Mythology is the legend of coyotes, a small man who defeated a giant. He wondered about the earth and was constantly warned about a giant unknown to him that he was down the monster’s belly; he had entered through the monster’s mouth thinking it was a cave. However, he began to kill the monster from the inside by destroying the heart.
The myth of the Diné people transcended generation and gained very wide ground among all myths spoken of in Native America. This is as a result of the continuous telling of legends, wars, and triumphs by the Navajos in time past.