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---- Monday - September 1, 2014 - 5:23:18 PM - Navajo Nation Time ----

Mt. Hesperus
(Known As: Dibé Nitsaa - Big Mountain Sheep)
(Ceremonial Name: Bááshzhinii Dzil - Jet Mountain)

Mount Hesperus, in Navajo mythology, is the "Jet Mountain" and "Sacred Mountain of the North". Mt. Hesperus is located in the southern part of the La Plata Mountain range in southern Colorado which runs 50 miles north and south, from Silverton, Colorado to Mesa Verde, Colorado. Mt. Hesperus's elevation is 13,225 feet. Mt. Hesperus is about 10 miles north-northeast of Mancos, Colorado, and 20 miles northwest of Durango, Colorado. It is in a heavily timbered area which has many lakes and streams, and many gold and silver mines in the range. La Plata Mountains was shown as "Sierra Datil" on the Dominguez - Escalante map of 1776. One of the first uses of the name "La Plata" occurred on the map of Captain J.F. McComb who explored the region in 1859.

This mountain according to Navajo mythology, represents the "Jet Black Stone", and is known to the Navajos as their "Sacred Mountain of the North". It represents their legal northern boundary of the original Navajo country. According to Navajo legend, Dibé Nitsaa was fastened to the heavens with a rainbow and decorated with jet, dark mist, and wild animals. Here is the reputed home of Tádídiin ‘Ashkii (Pollen Boy) and ‘Anilt’ánii ‘At’ééd (Grasshopper Girl).

At the northern end of the La Platas is Island Lake, seven miles west of Silverton, Colorado. At this place is the Hajiináí (Place of Emergence) of the Navajos, a small island in the center of the lake surrounded in the cardinal directions by 4 high peaks as described in the Navajo tradition of the place. It is here that the Navajos, according to Navajo legend, that they emerged from the underworld and where the spirits of the Navajo dead pass down to the nether world.

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Dated Created: 08/27/2001
Version: 2.0
Updated: 12/12/2004
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