Diné Dóonee (Navajo Clans)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  
1.   Introduction
2.   List of Diné Clan Names
3.   Origin of the Diné Clans
4.   Diné Clanship System
5.   Lessons from the Clan Stories of the Origin of the Diné Clans
6.   Footnotes

1. Introduction

When a Navajo baby is born, he or she belongs to the clan of the mother. The clan name passes on through her to her children. When a young man marries, it must be to someone completely outside of his clan. This way, the blood would be strong and produce healthy offsprings. Even though people in his clan are not all blood-related, it is considered inappropriate to marry within one's own clan. This rule is strictly observed. Should it occur, it would be considered as "incest" to the Navajo people.

An important Navajo custom is to introduce one's maternal and paternal clans on both sides of his family when meeting another Navajo or introducing yourself to the Navajo public for the first time. In the Navajo way, this is how Navajos know where you came from. Navajo children are "born to" the mother's clan and take her clan name, and are "born for" the father's clan. Therefore, Navajos precisely know who they are through identification by their mother's, father's, maternal grandfather's and paternal grandfather's clans. For example, Harrison Lapahie Jr.'s Navajo lineage is "Bitahnii Táchiinii", with the mother's clan listed first. Bitahnii (Folded Arms People) from his mother's (Lillie Todychini) side, born for the Táchiinii (Red Running into the Water Clan) from his father's (Harrison Lapahie) side. The Tódíchíinii (Bitter Water Clan) are his maternal grandfather, and the Taneeszahnii (The Badlands People) are his paternal grandfather's clan from their moms.

In Navajo (Diné), this is how it is said:

Yáátééh shikis!  Harrison Lapahie (Jr.) yinishyé.  Bitahnii nishłį́, Táchiinii báshíshchíní.  Tódíchíinii dashíchei dóó Taneeszahnii dashínáłí.
 
Hello my friend!   My name is Harrison Lapahie (Jr.).   I am of The Folder Arms People Clan, born for The Red-Running-Into-Water Clan.   The Bitter Water Clan are my maternal grandfather's clan and The Badlands People are my paternal grandfather's clan.
 
OR
 
Hello my friend!   My name is Harrison Lapahie (Jr.).   I am Bitahnii, born for Táchiinii.   My cheii (Grandpa on Mom's side) is Tódíchíinii and my nálí (Grandpa on Dad's side) is Taneeszahnii.

Another way is to specify who I am in Navajo (Diné) in table form is:

Yínishyé   –   Harrison Lapahie (Jr.)

Clan Relation
My Clans
Nishłį́
(Mom's Clan)
Bitahnii
(Folded Arms People3)
Báshíshchíín
(Dad's Clan)
Táchiinii
(Red-Running-Into-The-Water-Clan)
Dashíchei
(Mom's Dad's Clan,
Grandpa on Mom's side Clan,
or Maternal Dad's Clan)
Tódíchíinii
(Bitter Water Clan)
Dashináłí
(Dad's Dad's Clan,
Grandpa on Dad's side Clan,
or Paternal Dad's Clan)
Taneeszahnii
(Badlands People16 or Tangle People)

Haashdóoneę́ Nílí?   –   What is Your Clan?

In the Navajo way, two Navajos of the same clan, meeting for the first time, will refer to each other as "brother" or "sister". Navajos that are cousins to each other in the American sense, think of each other as "brother" or "sister" in the Navajo sense. Father's and mother's cousins in the American way are thought of as aunts and uncles in the Navajo way. Grandparent's brothers and sisters in the American way are thought of as grandma's and grandpa's in the Navajo way. Harrison Lapahie Jr. has many brothers, sisters, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmas, and Grandpas, in the Navajo way, that are his Cousins, his father's and mother's cousins, and his grandparent's brothers and sisters in the American way.

When a Navajo is in strange surroundings, it is not uncommon for his relatives (in the Navajo way) or his clan members, to have the responsibility for his housing, food, and welfare, while this individual is in the immediate area.

A Navajo through his own clan (his mom's clan) and the clan groups to which his father as well as his spouse belong, has a great potential for personal contacts. This complex network of inter-relationships served in the past to fuse the scattered bands of Navajos and other American Indians together as a Navajo Tribe.

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2. List of Diné Clan Names

Navajo Clan
English Meaning
Atsosi Dine 1 Feather People 46
Áshįįhí Salt People
Áshįįhnii 48  (extinct) Salt People
Azeetsoh Dine Big Medicine People
Beiyóodzíne Dine 34 Paiute People
Bįįh Dinee’ Deer People
Bįįh Dineé Táchiinii Deer People of Táchiinii
Bįįh Bitoodnii Deer Spring Clan
Bį́į́h Yázhí Dine 11 Little Deer People
Bįįhtsoh Dinee’ Big Deer People
Bitahnii Folded Arms People 3
Bitąąnii 2  (extinct) Talks-In-Blanket Clan
Chíshí Dine Chiricahua Apache Clan
Deeshchiinii Start-Of-The-Red-Streaked People
Dibé Łizhiní Black Sheep – San Felipe Clan 50
Dichin Dine Hunger People
Diłzéehi Mohave Clan
Dólii Dine Blue Bird People
Dzaanééz Łání Many Mules Clan 35
Dził Náoodiłnii Turning (Encircled) Mountain People 4
Dziłtaadí 5 Near the Mountain Clan 45
Dziłtłahnii Mountain Cove Clan 6
Gah Dineé Táchiinii Rabbit People of Táchiinii 7
Halgai Dine People of the Valley
Haltsooí Dine Meadow People
Hashkąą Hadzohí 8 Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan 9
Hashtłishnii  (Original Clan) Mud Clan
Honágháahnii  (Original Clan) One-Walks-Around Clan 10
Hooghan Łání Many Hogans Clan
Iichąh Dine  (extinct) Moth People 36
Jaayaalóolii Dine Sticking-Up-Ears People
Kaa Dine Arrow People
Kaahanáanii Living Arrow Clan
Kai Chébáanii Line-Of-Willows-Extend-Out-Gray People
Kehaatiinii Foot-Trails People 17
Kinłichíinii 12 Red House People – Zia Clan
Kinłitsonii Yellow House People
Kinyaaáanii 13  (Original Clan) Towering House People 51
Lókaa Dine Reed People
Maiitó Coyote Spring People
Mąii Deeshgiizhinii Coyote Pass People – Jemez Clan 52
Naadą́ą́ Dine Corn People
Naakaii Dine 47 Mexican Clan
Naakétłáhí Flat Foot People – Pima Clan
Naałani Dine Many Commanche Warriors Clan
Naaneeshtézhí Táchiinii Charcoal-Streaked Division of Táchiinii
Naashashí Dine 14 Bear Enemies – Tewa Clan
Naashgalí Dine Mescalero Apache Clan
Naashtézhí Dine Zuni Clan
Naayízí Dine Squash People
Naayíziłtsooi Dine Pumpkin People
Nátoh Dine Tobacco People
Nihoobáanii Gray-Streak-Ends Clan
Nóódai Dine Ute Clan
Nóódaí Dineé Táchiinii Ute People Division of Táchiinii
Séí Bee Hooghanii 15 Sand Hogan People
Shash Dine Bear People
Taadiin Dine Corn Pollen People
Tábąąhá Water's Edge Clan 49
Táchiinii Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan
Taneeszahnii Badlands People 16
Tązhii Dine Turkey People
Téeatiin Trail-To-Garden People
Tiischebáanii Gray-Cottonwood-Extend-Out Clan
Tiizhiłizhíní Dine Black Goat People
ááshchí Red Bottom People 18
ízí Łání Many Goats Clan
ógí Weavers – Zia Clan 19
Tó Baazhníázhí Two-Came-To-Water Clan 38
Tóáhání 37 Near-To-Water Clan 20
Tóaheedlíinii 21 Water-Flows-Together Clan
Tóázólí 22 Light-Water People
Tódíchíinii  (Original Clan) Bitter Water Clan
Tódíkǫ́zhí Salt Water Clan 23
Tótsohnii Big Water Clan
Tsah Yiskidnii Sage Brush Hill Clan
Tsé Deeshgizhnii Rock Gap Clan
Tsé Nahabiłnii 24 Sleep-Rock People 39
Tsé Ńjíkiní 40 Cliff Dwelling Clan 25
Tsé Tąąáanii Rock-Extends-Into-Water People
Tséghádinídínii 54 Crystal Rock
Tséikeehé 26 Two-Rocks-Sit Clan
Tséyanatohnii  (extinct) Horizontal-Water-Under-Cliffs People
Tsézhin Ndiiaaí 41 Slanted-Lava-Spire People 27
Tsin Sikaadnii 43 Clumped Tree People 29
Tsin Yee Naáloíí Dine 30 Tree Stretcher People 31
Tsinaajinii 42 Black-Streaked-Wood People 28
Yéii Dine Giant People 32
Yooó Dine 33 Bead People
Yooó Dineé Tódíchíinii 44 Bead People of Tódíchíinii

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3. Origin of the Diné Clans

Many strange things happened in the earliest days before the Navajo (Diné) became Nihooką́ą́ Dine (Earth Surface People). Pre-human beings (described as people animals) were moving about and upward from the First World to the Fourth World.

The earliest celestial clans were created in this period of upward movement. They were Early Dawn, Yellow Evening Twilight, Blue Twilight, and Folding Darkness. Early Dawn is clan-related to Blue Twilight. Yellow Evening Twilight is clan-related to Folding Darkness. Likewise, Mother Earth is related to parts of the day, and the four seasons are related to our earliest ideas of the yearly calendar. Rain is related to rainbow, and mountains to rain clouds. These connections go on and on. The colors of our blood, veins and bones are associated with these first early celestial clans.

Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) was created in the Fourth World, somewhere near Gobernador Knob (Chóolį́), New Mexico. First Man (Atsé Hastiin) and First Woman (Atsé Asdzą́ą́) found Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) as a baby girl at Gobernador Knob (Chóolį́) whom they named Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé). Changing Woman was then raised at Huerfano Mesa (Dził Náoodiłii) to give birth to twins, Naayéé Neizghání (Monster Slayer) and Tóbájíshchíní (Child Born of Water), who killed the monsters on the earth. Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) played a principal role in the making of the original Diné clans. It is said that Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) rejuvenates herself every season and is a divine force.

The Sun (Jóhonaaéí) then wanted Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) to come and live with him. He built a beautiful and sparkling home in the western ocean for her. It was built of rock crystals that shimmered with wonderful moving lights, beautiful clouds, and rainbows in the long waters to the West. In order that Changing Woman would not be lonely, certain invisible Air People called Niłchi Dine, decided to go with her to keep her company and to decorate her new home. She also took animals, birds, and insects. As Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) prepared to leave, she saw that the pre-human beings were filled with anger and negativity. They were constantly squabbling and complaining. As Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé packed her belonging, she decided to take away their natural elements, such as rain, mist, and clouds; perhaps to punish them for their constant bickering. Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) then traveled to the Western Ocean to be with her husband, the Sun (Jóhonaaéí).

Eventually, the weather turned hot and still. Droughts came and wiped out cornfields and plants. The animals moved away. The angry ones of the pre-human beings grew hungry and became frightened. They asked Hummingbird (Dahiitį́hii) to find where the natural elements were. Hummingbird (Dahiitį́hii) hurried away and found the missing elements at Changing Woman's (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé's) home in the West.

In time, Niłchi Dine (The Air People), began to miss their homelands and tried to persuade Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) to return home to the four sacred mountains. Meanwhile, twelve Diyin Dine (The Holy Ones), and others from the sacred mountains who greatly missed Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé), journeyed West to visit her.

These people animals (pre-human beings) lived with her in the west for some time, but later they became lonely and also frightened as they heard of people like themselves who still lived in their old homeland (Dinétah). Finally, they decided to return. Changing Woman who thought there should be more people and who wanted to help her frightened people, decided to create more of them (pre-human beings now called humans) by rubbing the skin from her breast, from her back, and from under both arms, and from the Niłchi Dine (The Air People). In this way, she created the first four clans, a male and female in each clan. Changing Woman rubbed the skin from her breast and formed people who became the Kinyaaą́ąnii 13 (Towering House Clan). From the skin rubbed from her back, the Honágháahnii (One-Walk-Around Clan 10) was formed. From the skin under her right arm, the Tódíchíinii (Bitter Water Clan) was created, and from the skin under her left arm, the Hashtłishnii (Mud Clan) was made. She sent these four pairs to her sacred cornfields within the boundaries of the four sacred mountains. Traveling together, their clan names became known later in their action filled journey homeward. Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé) gave each pair a są́ gish (cane representing old age), and an animal protector. She gave them beautiful forms of transportation including, shándíín (sun rays), náátsíílid bitłóól (rainbow beams), shá bitłóól (sunbeam), Níłtsą́ Biką (Male Rain), and Níłtsą́ Baáád (Female Rain).

As the years passed, most of the people of Dinétah started moving around from place to place, and other American Indian tribal bands were adopted into the Navajo tribe. When the Diné moved back from Hwéeldi (Ft. Sumner), New Mexico, in the 1860s, some newcomers joined them on their walk back home. These people had also been imprisoned and now formed their own clans, the Chíshí Dine (Chiricahua Apache Clan) and Naashgalí Dine (Mescalero Apache Clan). It is said that these people tried, but were not accepted by many Diné. The Beiyóodzíne 34 (Paiutes) from Naatsisáán (Navajo Mountain) were adopted but were left there because of differences over religious matters. The people (Diné) then moved down toward the south, where they left the Chíshí (Chiricahua Apaches), and adopted the Mexicans (Naakaii). Then they went to the east, where the Naashgalí (Mescalero Apaches) decided to stay. The Mescaleros now live from Albuquerque (Beeldííldahsinil) all the way down to the home of the Naakaii (Mexicans). From there, the Diné again moved to the vicinity of Dibé Nitsaa (La Plata Mountains), where the Beehai (Jicarilla Apaches) eventually settled. The People remained there for seven winters. They were happy, but there was one problem. The summers were too short. Because there was not time for the squash and corn to ripen, the main group moved to Tsé Naajiin (Cabezon Peak).

The names of more than half of the Navajo Clans suggest that they derived from the places in which the Clans originated, such as Kinyaaą́ąnii, a Pueblo ruin in the Crownpoint area of New Mexico, or Deeschiinii, a canyon in the Cibecue area of the Western Apache country. The remainder, something less than half, claim origin from other American Indians including the Mexicans, Apaches, Utes, Commanches, and Puebloans (Zuni, Jemez, Zia, Santa Ana, and Hopi).

Now the Navajo Tribe has grown to it present system of about 90 different Navajo Clans. As of now, no official clans are represented for Anglos (Bilagáana) or Asians (Binááádaałtsózí Dine), although Navajos who have one parent that is non-Navajo are still "born to" or "born for" Anglo-Americans, Asian-Americans, etc..

Recently a new term, Naahiłii or Nahiłii, has been created for African Americans. The word is broken down in the following way: Na (those who have come across), hił (dark, calmness, have overcome and persevered and we've come to like), ii (oneness). The term was researched and shared with Radmilla Cody by a Diné educator from Shiprock, NM. The ceremony that it is used in is the Nda also known as the Enemy Way Ceremony. Radmilla Cody have shared it across Dinétah as well as to other medicine men and no one has expressed any concerns. If anything it has been well received and accepted by many. It is a term that our Apache relatives also use for African Americans. When the medicine man handed the term down to Radmilla Cody, it was with the intention to "empower" those who identify with the African American lineage versus dis-empower by using the other terms, Zhinii or Naakaii Łizhinii, which is demeaning or derogatory.

In conclusion, the Navajo clans are divided into nine major clan groupings, although a few smaller groupings are also recognized.

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4. Diné Clanship System

  
CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 1
Kinyaaáanii 13 – Towering House People 51
(Original Clan)
  
  
Related Clans: 
Dziłtaadí 5     Near the Mountain Clan 45
Azeetsoh Dine     Big Medicine People
Tązhii Dine     Turkey People
Bitahnii     Folded Arms People 3
  
Adoped Clans: 
Halgai Dine     People of the Valley
Naadą́ą́ Dine     Corn People
Shash Dine     Bear People

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 2
Honágháahnii – One-Walks-Around Clan 10
(Original Clan)
  
  
Related Clans: 
Tóáhání 37     Near-To-Water Clan 20
Taneeszahnii     Badlands People 16
Hashkaa Hadzohí 8     Yucca Fruit-Strung-Out-In-A-Line Clan 9
Nihoobáanii     Gray-Streak-Ends Clan
Tsah Yiskidnii     Sage Brush Hill Clan
Dziłtłahnii     Mountain Cove Clan 6
Dził Náoodiłnii     Turning (Encircled) Mountain People 4

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 3
Tódíchíinii – Bitter Water Clan
(Original Clan)
  
  
Related Clans: 
Tséikeehé 26     Two-Rocks-Sit Clan
Tsin Sikaadnii 43     Clumped Tree People 29
Bįįh Bitoodnii     Deer Spring Clan
Tódíkǫ́zhí     Salt Water Clan
ógí     Weavers – Zia Clan 19
Yooó Dine 33     Bead People
  
Adopted Clans: 
Tó Baazhníázhí     Two-Came-To-Water Clan 38
Naakétłáhí     Flat Foot People – Pima Clan
Bį́į́h Yázhí Dine 11     Little Deer People
Kaa Dine     Arrow People
Kaahanáanii     Living Arrow Clan
Tséghádinídínii     Crystal Rock
Yooó Dineé Tódíchíinii 44     Bead People of Tódíchíinii

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 4
Hashtłishnii – Mud Clan
(Original Clan)
  
  
Related Clans: 
Hooghan Łání     Many Hogans Clan
Tótsohnii     Big Water Clan
Dzaanééz Łání     Many Mules Clan 35
Lókaa Dine     Reed People
Bitahnii     Folded Arms People 3
Tsé Deeshgizhnii     Rock Gap Clan

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 5
Tábąąhá – Water's Edge Clan 49
  
  
Related Clans: 
Haltsooí Dine     Meadow People
Tó Baazhníázhí     Two-Came-To-Water Clan 38

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 6
Táchiinii – Red-Running-Into-The-Water Clan
  
  
Related Clans: 
Nátoh Dine     Tobacco People
Yéii Dine     Giant People 32
Dólii Dine     Blue Bird People
Naashtézhí Dine     Zuni Clan
Bįįh Dineé Táchiinii     Deer People of Táchiinii
Gah Dineé Táchiinii     Rabbit People of Táchiinii 7
Naaneeshtézh7 Táchiinii     Charcoal-Streaked Division of Táchiinii
Nóódaí Dineé Táchiinii     Ute People Division of Táchiinii
  
Adopted Clans: 
Kinłichíinii 12     Red House People – Zia Clan

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 7
Tsé Ńjíkiní 40 – Cliff Dwelling Clan 25
  
  
Related Clans: 
Dibé Łizhiní     Black Sheep – San Felipe Clan 50
Áshįįhnii 48  (extinct)     Salt People
Mąii Deeshgiizhinii     Coyote Pass People – Jemez Clan 52
Áshįįhí     Salt People
Dził Náoodiłnii     Turning (Encircled) Mountain People 4
Kinłitsonii     Yellow House People
  
Adopted Clans: 
Beiyóodzíne Dine 34     Paiute People
Naayíziłtsooi Dine     Pumpkin People
Tiizhiłizhíní Dine     Black Goat People

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 8
Tóaheedlíinii 21 – Water-Flows-Together Clan
  
  
Related Clans: 
Naakaii Dine47     Mexican Clan
  
Adopted Clans: 
Nóódai Dine     Ute Clan
Kehaatiinii     Foot-Trails People 17

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CLAN RELATIONSHIP GROUP 9
Tsinaajinii 42 – Black-Streaked-Wood People 28
  
  
Related Clans: 
Deeshchiinii     Start-Of-The-Red-Streaked People
Kinłichíinii 12     Red House People – Zia Clan
ízí Łání     Many Goats Clan
ááshchí     Red Bottom People 18
Tsé Nahabiłnii 24     Sleep-Rock People 39
  
Adopted Clans: 
Naashashí Dine 14     Bear Enemies – Tewa Clan
Shash Dine     Bear People
Tiischebáanii     Gray-Cottonwood-Extend-Out Clan

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Other Clan Relationship Groups (CRG)
   
   
CRG 10     Atsosi Dine 1     Feather People 46
CRG 11     Bįįhtsoh Dine     Big Deer People
CRG 12     Iichąh Dine  (extinct)     Moth People 36
CRG 13     Jaayaalóolii Dine     Sticking-Up-Ears People
CRG 14     Kéhaatiinii     Foot-Trails People 17
CRG 15     Naashashí Dine 14     Bear Enemies – Tewa Clan
CRG 16     Naashgalí Dine     Mescalero Apache Clan
CRG 17     Naayízí Dine     Squash People
CRG 18     Nóódai Dine     Ute Clan
CRG 19     Séí Bee Hooghanii 15     Sand Hogan People
CRG 20     Tóázólí 22     Light-Water People
CRG 21     Tsin Yee Naáloíí Dine 30     Tree Stretcher People 31

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Other Diné Clans That Have Not Been
Adopted In A Clan Relationship Group
  
  
Bįįh Dine     Deer People
Bitąąnii 2  (extinct)     Talks-In-Blanket Clan
Chíshí Dine    Chiricahua Apache Clan
Diłzéehi     Mohave Clan
Kai Dine     Willow People
Kai Chébáanii     Line-Of-Willows-Extend-Out-Gray People
Maiitó     Coyote Spring People
Naałani Dine     Many Commanche Warriors Clan
Tsé Tąąáanii     Rock-Extends-Into-Water People
Téeatiin     Trail-To-Garden People
Tséyanatohnii  (extinct)     Horizontal-Water-Under-Cliffs People
Tsézhin Ndiiaaí 41     Slanted-Lava-Spire People 27

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Other Native American Tribes and Non-Native Races
For Those That Marry Outside the Navajo Tribe
  
  
Haakóh     Acoma [Tribe]
Tółání Biyáázh Dine     Acomita [Tribe]
Zhinii  or  Naakaii Łizhinii     African, Black [Race], Negro
Naahiłii  or  Nahiłii 53     African American
Bilagáana     Anglo, White [Race]
Binááádaałtsózí Dine  or  Náátsózí     Asian, Oriental, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Zhinii  or  Naakaii Łizhinii     Black [Race], African, Negro
Binááádaałtsózí Dine  or  Náátsózí     Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Asian, Oriental
Góóhníinii     Havasupai [Tribe]
Naakaii Dine     Hispanic, Mexican People
Kiisáanii     Hopi [Tribe]
Naatoohí Dine     Isleta [Tribe]
Binááádaałtsózí Dine  or  Náátsózí     Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Asian, Oriental
Káawa     Kiowa [Tribe]
Binááádaałtsózí Dine  or  Náátsózí     Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Asian, Oriental
Tółání Dine     Laguna [Tribe]
Naakaii Dine     Mexican People, Hispanic
Zhinii  or  Naakaii Łizhinii     Negro, African, Black [Race]
Binááádaałtsózí Dine  or  Náátsózí     Oriental, Asian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Béyoodzin     Paiute [Tribe]
Kéglizhii     Papago [Tribe]
Kétłáhí     Pima [Tribe]
Kinłigai Dine     Sandia [Tribe]
Naałání     Sioux [Tribe]
Tówołnii     Taos [Tribe]
Tloh Łikizhédine     Tesuque [Tribe]
Bilagáana     White [Race], Anglo
Dilzhí     Yavapi [Tribe]
óyídine     Zia [Tribe]

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5. Lessons from the Clan Stories of the Origin of the Diné Clans

The clan stories take us back in time to our earliest history. The clan stories tell of the Diné (Navajo) movement upward through the other worlds, emerging at Dinétah (original homeland of the Navajos), the large area east of Blanco, New Mexico.

Stories tell of Diné movement from and along the Pacific coast as they made their way to Dinétah. Other stories describe our migration in and around our homelands. They tell of our ancestors' keen observations of their surroundings, the geography, mountains, trees, water, and canyons. Our ancestors observed and respected the natural elements and the web of life it weaved.

Stories describe movement through time following the pathway of the Sun (Jóhonaaéí), and always moving with reverence and respect for the sacred cardinal directions, the Four Directions.

Our ancient clan stories describe the gradual inclusion of neighboring tribes, from the Pueblos (Kiisáanii), Utes (Nóóda), Paiute (Béyoodzin), Pima (Kétłáhí), Havasupai (Góóhníinii), Apaches, and the Mexicans (Naakaii). Today, the Diné is the largest American Indian tribe on this continent.

The clan stories also teach us the strict rules about marrying close relatives. This moral code protects future generations from weakening bloodlines that may cause health problems.

There are social rules to encourage sharing and taking responsibility for one another. Thinking in the Ke way, ke nisin, relates to a life of goodwill and solidarity, kindness and helpfulness. Ke teaches us how to behave within our family and clan, and with others. We are taught to show love and respect to one another and to address each other properly.

Ke nisin is the core of Diné traditions.

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6. Footnotes

  1. Also known as:   Adóotsos Dineé, Adóotsosnii.
  2. Also known as:   Bitshnii.   It might be that the Bitąąnii Clan did not go into extinction but was absorbed or was also the Bitahnii Clan.   Bitąąnii meaning is Talks-In-Blanket, and one of the Bitahnii translation is Within-His-Cover.   The similiarity in spelling, sound, and translation could mean that these clans were most likely very similiar or were the same clan!
  3. Also known as:   Under-His-Cover Clan, Within-His-Cover Clan, His Sheaves ... Leaf Clan.
  4. Also known as:   Mountain-Around-Which-Traveling-Was-Done People, Encircled Mountain People.
  5. Also known as:   Dził Taadí, Dził Taadnii, Dził Tłtade.
  6. Also known as:   Mountain Recess People.
  7. Also known as:   Rabbit People (Division of the Táchiinii), Rabbit Redwater People.
  8. Also known as:   Hashkąą Hadzohó.
  9. Also known as:   Yucca Fruit Clan.
  10. Also known as:   One-Who-Walks-Around-One Clan, He-Walks-Around-One Clan.
  11. Also known as:   Bįįh Yáázh Dine.
  12. Also known as:   Kiłichíinii.
  13. Also known as:   Kiyaaáanii, Kiiyaaą́ąnii.
  14. Also known as:   Shash Dine, meaning Bear – Tewa Clan.
  15. Also known as:   Séí Beehooghanii.
  16. Also known as:   Rough Land Formation People, Tangle People.
  17. Also known as:   Foot Trains People.
  18. Also known as:   Red Cheek People.
  19. Also known as:   Hairy Ones.
  20. Also known as:   Near-The-Water Clan.
  21. Also known as:   Tóadheedliinii, or Tóadheedlinii.
  22. Also known as:   Tóazólí, Toaszoli.
  23. Also known as:   Alkaline Water Clan.
  24. Also known as:   Tsé Nahadiłnii 19.
  25. Also known as:   Honey-Combed Rock Clan, House-Of-Dark-Cliffs Clan, Rebuilding-A-Rock-House Clan.
  26. Also known as:   Tséikeeheé, Tsékéhé, Tsíkeehí.
  27. Also known as:   Trap Dike People
  28. Also known as:   Black-Streak-Wood Clan, Black-Streak-Of-Forest People.
  29. Also known as:   Clamp Tree Clan.
  30. Also known as:   Tsin Yideelłsoodii, Tsin Yideełcoi.
  31. Also known as:   Carries-Things-With-Wooden-Sticks People.
  32. Also known as:   Monster People, Yei-Bi-Chei People.
  33. Also known as:   Yooí Dine.
  34. Also known as:   Bayóodzíne Dine, Beiyóodzín.
  35. Also known as:   Many Burros Clan.
  36. Also known as:   The People That Have Fits.
  37. Also known as:   Tóáhaní.
  38. Also known as:   Two-Who-Came-To-Water.
  39. Also known as:   Over-Hanging Rock People.
  40. Also known as:   Tséńjíkiní, Tséníjíkiní.
  41. Also known as:   Tsézhindiiaaí.
  42. Also known as:   Tsinaajínii.
  43. Also known as:   Tsin Síkaadnii.
  44. Also known as:   Yooí Dineé Tódíchíinii.
  45. Also known as:   Foothill Clan.
  46. Also known as:   Narrow Gorge People.
  47. Also known as:   Naakai Dine.
  48. With a similar explanation as with the extinction of Bitąąnii, it might be that the Áshįįhnii Clan did not go into extinction but was absorbed or was also the Áshįįhí Clan.   Áshįįhnii meaning is Salt People, and Áshįįhí translation is also Salt People.   The similiarity in spelling, sound, and translation could mean that these clans were most likely very similiar or were the same clan!
  49. Also known as:   Edge Water Clan.
  50. Also known as:   Black Sheep Clan.
  51. Also known as:   Towering House Clan, Tall House People.
  52. Also known as:   Coyote Pass Clan.
  53. The new term to be used for African Americans. Nahiłii or Nahiłi is broken down in the following way: Na (those who have come across), hił (dark, calmness, have overcome and persevered and we've come to like), ii (oneness). The term was researched and shared with Radmilla Cody by a Diné educator from Shiprock, NM. The ceremony that it is used in is the Nda also known as the Enemy Way Ceremony. Radmilla Cody have shared it across Dinétah as well as to other medicine men and no one has expressed any concerns. If anything it has been well received and accepted by many. It is a term that our Apache relatives also use for African Americans. When the medicine man handed the term down to Radmilla Cody, it was with the intention to "empower" those who identify with the African American lineage versus dis-empower by using the other terms, Zhinii or Naakaii Łizhinii, which is demeaning or derogatory.
  54. Also known as:   Tséghádińdínii.

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