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---- Monday - June 26, 2017 - 1:01:25 PM - Navajo Nation Time ----

Gobernador Knob
(Ch’óol’í’í - Fir Mountain)

Gobernador Knob is a small hump on Spruce Mountain (or Fir Mountain), that rises about 90 to 100 feet from Spruce Hill, having an overall elevation of 8,000 feet. Gobernardor Knob rises above the high broken mesa countryside sloping west from the Continental Divide to the Largo Canyon, and is immediately west of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation western line. Gobernador Store and Post Office are located some 10 miles north of the knob as well as scattered Spanish-American settlements along La Jara Canyon, Gobernador Canyon, and Burns Canyons.

Gobernador Knob is one of the inner sacred mountains of the Navajos and can be seen from great distances in the west. In the 1930s and later, in the vicinity of Gobernador, the Laboratory of Anthropology of Santa Fe, New Mexico have for some years conducted archaeological investigations. There are a number of identified Navajo remains in the vicinity of the Knob itself and the region is a part of the Dinétah (The original or old Navajo Country). At about 1921, Dr. Alfred V. Kidder of the Phillips-Andover Academy investigated what he believed to have been refugee sites of Puebloans fleeing Spanish vengeance during the troubled years during and following the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680.

The Navajo have many traditions relating to Gobernador Knob. Navajo beliefs say that it represents the "Heart" of Navajo Country. It is also the site where the Navajo's Divine Goddess, Changing Woman ('Asdzáá Nadleehe), was born. Gobernador Knob also represents the outward look of the Male Hogan.

The Divine Being, Changing Woman, got her name from her changes of dress, her correspondence with the change of seasons, and her repetitions of the life cycle. Depending on the ceremony performed or legend mentioned, Changing Woman could be called, White Shell Woman, Turquoise Woman, Abalone Woman, or Jet Woman. Her name also represents the cycle of changes in her age: young in the spring, mature in the late summer, old in winter, and young again the following spring. The following represents one of the main legends of Gobernador Knob:

Jiní. Times were bad. Everywhere there were Enemy Monsters who killed and ate people. One day a rain cloud came to rest on Gobernador Knob. Gradually it enveloped the mountain until on the fourth day it completely covered it.

‘Altsé Hastiin (First Man) seeing this from El Huerfano Mountain (Dzil Ná'oodilii) told ‘Altsé ‘Asdzáán (First Woman) that something unusual was happening on Gobernador Knob. He went there to look things over and sang a Blessing Song as he went.

When he reached Gobernador Knob, he heard a baby cry. He found this baby who was the daughter of Ya dil hil - Father Sky (or Saah Naghai - Long Life Boy) and Nahasdzáán - Mother Earth (or Bikeh Hozho - Happiness Girl), lying with its feet towards the east. Its cradle was made from 2 short rainbows. Across the baby’s chest and feet lay the red beams of the rising sun. Arched over its face was another short rainbow. Four blankets covered the baby. One was black, another was blue, another was yellow, and the fourth was a white cloud. Along both sides there was row of loops made of lightning and through these, sunbeams were laced back and forth.

Not knowing what to do with the fastening, First Man took the babe back to El Huerfano Mountain to First Woman. He told her that he had found the baby in the darkness and rain on Gobernador Knob.

They heard the call of Hashch’éli'í (Talking God) as he came. They heard the call of Hashja’ehogan (House God) as he came. Talking God clapped his hands over his mouth and then struck them together saying something important had happened. The baby was what the Holy People had been wishing for. Talking God placed the child on the ground and with one pull of the strings, the lacing came free.

"This is my daughter", said the First Woman. First Man said the same. The days passed - they were the same as years - and when 2 years had passed, the girl sat up. She was then dressed in white shell. She walked in 2 days, and in 3 days she danced. On the tenth day she was named Yoolgai 'Asdzáán (White Shell Woman). Thus the Holy People brought the benevolent goddess to the Navajos from Gobernador Knob.

Changing Woman represents a goddess to the Navajos similarly as the Holy Virgin Mary is represented in the Roman Catholic Church. Through her came the Kinaaaldá (coming of age ceremony) for girls reaching their first menstrual cycle.

Navajo beliefs also say that Gobernador Knob represents the Male Hogan (Forked Hogan) by it curved semi-circular look. This type of Hogan is rarely used today in favor of the Female Hogan (6 or 8 sided Hogan) that has perpendicular sides resembling Dzil Ná'oodilii (El Huerfano Mountain).

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URL: http://www.lapahie.com /Gobernador_Knob_info.cfm
Creator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
Dated Created: 08/27/2001
Version: 2.0
Updated: 11/26/2004
Curator(s): Harrison Lapahie Jr.
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