Song and Dance

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Food is Sacred - Tyrell Woolboy

Image Credit: Tyrell Descheney

Song and Dance

There was a time when the earth became sick. No rain or snow. Day and night, every living plant began to slowly die, animals got sick, and all hope seemed to be lost. People tried everything they could to revitalize the earth back to herself, all the songs and prayers seemed to have no effect whatsoever.

At the time, it was only the men who were conducting everything, but no results were showing. In the ceremony, there's one individual who is known as a jester, he goes around and jokes with the people while the rest are dancing. Niłch'í (Air People) was the one who had told him that the ceremony wasn't working properly because there were no females in it.

From there, they asked Navajo females to help stand beside the men and dance alongside them. Following them up and down the ground while they all sing. It was until then there were small signs of life coming back. She breathed.

They continued to dance more and more but it wasn't enough to bring her back. The leader of the group told everyone else to dance and sing the way he does. While dancing, the last male dancer heard a voice, once again it was Niłch'í. It told him "Turn around now!" as he approached the end of the line. Although he was hesitant to do so because he was advised to dance as the leader, he did as he was told and it wasn't until then that the earth finally came back to life. The trees grew leaves, grass stood up, water flowed down the mountains. There was a sense of relief and a bigger sense of hope.

In the songs they sing, there are phrases that they sing. Each one has a significant meaning to it.

Ohwoh ohwoh - represents the earth

Wohówah - represents the sky

From there they decided to continue dancing in this way all through the night. There is more to the ceremony but this was one of my favorite parts.

 

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I was born on the Navajo reservation into a loving caring family. I grew up being loved by my elders...More

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