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---- Sunday - December 17, 2017 - 4:09:32 PM - Navajo Nation Time ----

Navajo Mountain
(Naatsis'áán - Head of the Earth)

Navajo Mountain refers to the head of the sacred female and pollen range of Navajo mythology. High rounded, isolated mountain with an elevation of 10,416 feet. Predominating landmark in western Navajo country. Just north of the Arizona state line, 90 miles north of Tuba City and 40 miles south of the Colorado River.

Navajo Mountain was shown as Sierra Panoche on McComb’s map of 1860. In 1858, Major J.S., Simpson at Fort Defiance received information from friendly Paiutes that the Mormons had invited Navajos, Utes, and Mohaves to a council at Navajo Mountain. At this meeting, it was reported, arms were distributed to the Indians, and the United States government and it’s military represented the natural enemies of the Indians.

During the Navajo Wars (1863-1864), Navajo Mountain was used by the Army as a heliograph station, and beams were reflected over a series of mirrors to Fluted Rock and other points.

This isolated dome dominating the horizon of the western Navajo country is regarded as sacred by the Navajos. They tell in their Blessing Side stories that Navajo Mountain represents the head of the female and pollen figure of Navajoland, of which Black Mountain is the body and Balukai Mesa the lower extremities. In ceremonial parlance, the whole system is called Tádídiíín Dzil (Pollen Mountain).

It use to be that Navajos were afraid to go above the lower elevations of the mountain and had great fear of the underground rumblings that use to be reported on the western slopes. Very few Navajos use to go north of Navajo Mountain into the broken country between there and the Colorado River. Paiutes regularly travelled this section with no fear.

The only stand of Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) located in the Navajo country is found on Navajo Mountain.

By Harrison Lapahie Jr.
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