When Hunger Comes Creeping
Photo Credit: Tyrell Descheny
Áádęęh Dichin Dine'e!"
"The People of Hunger are coming!"
Those were the words of the Navajo Man who tried to protect his family from the people of hunger, sickness, lice and poverty.
He stood in front of his hogan behind the pile of woods. Multiple attempts of shooting his arrows to the enemies but they missed and continued to miss them. However, the enemies arrows were hitting him. He began to get weaker by the minute. He crawled back into his hogan where his family were.
His wife helped him to the west side of the hogan. She stood at the entrance, looking out into the eyes of her enemy. She turned around and grabbed her stirring sticks. Out the door she went to where her husband was fighting behind the wood.
She says a prayer to the first stick as she held it in her hands as if she were shooting an arrow. The stirring stick took off and struck her enemies. One by one, they began to fall to the ground. Defeating them, she collected her sticks and told her enemies that they'll never be welcomed into her home.
She went back into her hogan and began to massage her husband as he laid there, helpless. Soon after he gained his strength back.
So to this day, Navajo's were supposed to have a set of stirring sticks on each household hanging on the wall or where it's visible in the kitchen. When hunger comes creeping around, it will see the "arrow" and will leave immediately.
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The perception of mental illness won’t change unless we act to change it.
During Mental Health Month, We Are Navajo joins NAMI and the mental health community to reaffirm our commitment to building our understanding of mental illness, increasing access to treatment and ensuring those who are struggling to know they are not alone. Learn More