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In the BeginningThe Navajo Genesis$
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Jerrold Levy

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780520211285

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520211285.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Two Traditions

Two Traditions

Chapter:
(p.110) 6 Two Traditions
Source:
In the Beginning
Author(s):

Jerrold E. Levy

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520211285.003.0006

This chapter uses the myth motifs of the Navajo healing ceremonies to classify the various ceremonies according to whether they include shamanic themes of soul loss, possession, and trickster figures. The Coyote-Begochidi tradition does not represent a survival from the distant hunting and gathering past so much as an adaptation that took place to cope with important new problems which became acute during the transition to pastoralism. The Blessingway is concerned with peace, harmony, and good things, and should exclude all evil. The Holyways include all chants that utilize sandpaintings, paintings of anthropomorphic figures on the body of the patient, and beads of turquoise and white shell given to the patient during the ceremony. The Lifeways are specifically for injuries from accidents, sprains, strains, fractures, and so on. The Evilways are used against illness caused by the ghosts of the dead.

Keywords:   Navajo, myth, healing ceremony, shaman, Coyote, Blessingway, Holyways, Lifeways, Evilways

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