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Navajo Taboos



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Navajo Taboos

By Ashiihashkii Clauschee 



            The Navajo believe that lightning and thunder come from the gods.  When someone is struck by lightning, it is believed that the sprits are telling them that they are wanted in the next world.  I can see why the Navajo have so many taboos about lightning.

              Man tries to explain everything and the best explanation is, ďIt comes from the gods.Ē

            Lightning is loud and can destroy anything it touches. It comes from the sky seemingly out of nowhere.  It is hard to believe that lightning is caused by build ups of static electricity.


Here are some Navajo taboos pertaining to lightning and thunder:


Donít burn fire from a tree that was hit by lightning

You will have bad luck and may get sick


            My dad and I used to haul wood every weekend before we got electricity.  I remember he said this to me, ďDonít touch that!  It could have come from a tree that was struck by lightning!Ē 

            When lightning strikes a tree, that tree was touched by the god, so it becomes sacred.  The Navajo believe that sacred objects should never be bothered unless you are a medicine man.


Donít do anything during a lightning storm

You might get struck or have bad luck


            When a storm comes, my wifeís aunt turns off the lights, the radio and sits and waits for the lightning to pass.  Once, when my in-law was visiting, a storm quickly blew in.  She quickly stopped eating her stew and started to turn off all the lights.  I said, ďIts okay, you can leave on the TV.Ē  Next thing I know, a large surge from the lightning fried my Receiver!  The electrical surge went right threw the $100.00 surge protector.  Donít even ask how much the receiver was.  Talk about bad luck!


Donít hang around an area that was struck by lightning

You may get sick or get struck later


            I knew someone who laid in a cradleboard that was made with wood touched by lightning.  Of course they did not find this out until a medicine man told them years later.  But it explained why that person had warts!


            So, basically donít mess with lightning or anything that has been in contact with it.  That means if your best buddy was accidentally leaning on a tree that was struck, itís time to find a new buddy until he has a sing/ceremony done.

More soon!  I hope you like!

Ashiihashkii Clauschee





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Last modified: 06/23/04