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---- Thursday - December 14, 2017 - 11:55:16 AM - Navajo Nation Time ----

Black Mesa
(Dzil Yíjiin - Mountain Which Appears Black)

Black Mesa, also known as Black Mountain, is an extended high mesa., located in central western Navajo country and in Hopi country. Its name, Dzil Yíjiin (Mountain Which Appears Black) got its name by the visual site of many coal beds in mesa formations that make the region.

Black Mountain was referred to as "Mesa de las Vacas" by Captain John Walker in a report to the War Department in 1858, and is also shown on McComb’s map of 1860.

The region is perhaps best visualized as a broad, hand-shaped mesa across whose "wrist" runs a pine-covered rim of generally 8,000 foot elevation. Along its "fingers" extending to the southwest lie the Hopi villages and the headwaters of the Polacca, Wepo, Oraibi, and Blue Canyon drainages. It is probably the greatest watershed, both in size and capacity in the entire Navajo country. Springs fed by seepage in porous sandstones far back on the mesa give the Hopi villages a permanent supply of drinking water. The Hopis’ long existence on their homeland is because of Black Mountain’s permanent water supply.

With the exception of the Navajo Mountain region, this great mesa contains the remotest area in the entire Navajo country being inaccessible in many sections to automobiles.

A Navajo belief in the region is that bears should never cross over to this mesa from the Chuska - Tunicha - Lukachukai ranges on the east lest they bring bad luck. They go to considerable effort to stop any bears that appears to be on is way westward across the intervening Chinlee Valley.

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URL: http://www.lapahie.com /Black_Mesa_info.cfm
Creator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
Dated Created: 08/27/2001
Version: 1.0
Updated: 04/16/2004
Curator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
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