Navajo Superstitions and Taboos
Here is a nice little collection of Navajo beliefs, superstitions, and taboos regarding the natural world and the weather.
- Do not look at clouds moving in the sky. If you do, you will be a slow runner.
- Do not eat when there is an eclipse, or you will have a swollen stomach or stomach problems.
- Do not sleep during an eclipse because your eyes won’t open again.
- Do not look at an eclipse, or you will go blind. This taboo is a fact. People can go blind by looking too long at an eclipse.
- Do not start a fire with a magnifying glass, or you will have a burning in your stomach.
- It is taboo to stand on high rocks. If traditional Navajos do, they say that the rocks will grow into the sky with them.
- Do not roll a rock from a mountain. The holy people put them there and it will be bad luck.
- The monsters that throw people off cliffs, are said to inhabit high places so they are best avoided!
- Do not use partly burned wood because it might be from a lightning struck tree. If you do it will cause illness or bad luck.
- Do not stand up when there is lightning. If you sit down it will go away.
- Do not yell when it is raining or you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not have a dog or cat in the hogan during a storm because it will draw lightning.
- Do not look lightning in the mirror because it will strike your hogan.
- Do not kill a nighthawk or you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not use aspen wood for a fire because it causes thunder and lightning.
- Do not stand by the loom when it is raining because the lightning will strike you.
- Do not weave when it is storming or it will cause lightning. This depends on the pattern being designed on the loom.
- Do not climb a tree when it is raining because lighting might strike the tree.
- Do not lean against a wall during a storm or the lightning will strike you.
- Do not ride a horse during a storm or you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not touch metal objects when it is raining because you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not wash your hair when it is raining because you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not eat an animal killed by lightning because you will be struck by lightning or get sick.
- Do not play around a lightning struck tree because you will get sick.
- Do not call the thunder’s name or the lightning will get you.
- Do not do a rain dance during a rainstorm because you will be struck by lightning.
- Do not lay facing the sky in a storm or the lightning will strike you.
- Do not eat corn when it is raining because lightning will strike you.
- Do not stare at the moon, or it will follow you.
- Don’t point at a rainbow with your finger. The rainbow will cut it off or break it.
- Do not watch a river flowing swiftly, or you will get dizzy and fall in.
- Don’t catch snow when its is falling, or it will keep falling and turn into deep snow.
- Do not hold out their hands when it is snowing because where your hand is will be how deep the snow will be.
- If you eat the first snow, you will become sick.
- Do not shake a flour sack in the winter, or the snow will get big and cause blizzards.
- Do not look at a shooting star unless you blow at it, or you will have trouble and bad luck.
- If you look at a falling star, there will be bad luck.
- Blindness is the punishment of looking to long at the sun. This punishment is a fact on life for all people.
- Don’t whistle too loud, or whistle for four days in a row. If you do, they say you will be calling up the wind
- Don’t throw rocks at a whirlwind. It will throw them back and chase you.
- Don’t call whirlwinds a name. Evil Spirits will get you.
- Don’t go into a whirlwind. It will effect your heart and carry you off.
- Dust devils are an evil wind that blows no one any good. They are animated by evil spirits.
- Don’t whistle or you will call up the wind!
Source: Navajo Central
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