Navajo Night Chant

Her Navajo name is Yanaha which means Brave and that is very appropriate, as no one had ever attempted to do the Night Chant at the top of Flat Rock before.  This is the most sacred of all Navajo dances and one of the most difficult and demanding to learn, involving intricate coordination and balance and she was going to do it in her spike heels.  The Night Chant is basically a healing ritual, designed both to cure people who are sick and to restore the order and balance of human relationships within the Navajo universe.  If she pulls it off, sickness will be warded off from her people for another year.  Before the chant takes place, she will be stripped of all of her clothing, except her savage pantyhose and her shoes and then she will be struck with a yucca whip, while the others in the tribe touch her body with ears of corn covered with sprays of spruce.  She will be sporting two feathers in her hair and her spirit guide the crow will stay with her.

A big crowd is expected to gather once the fires are lit to take the chill out of the night air.  She will call out the names of the four gods, while she rhythmically moves back and forth, hooting at the moon god for his approval, which usually has a hypnotic effect on the listeners.  This night will be all about Yanaha, as she had been an apprentice for many years and she knows every step of this elaborate ritual.  As the ceremony drags on through the night, there will be much eating and even more drinking and there will most likely be one or two bowls being passed around of some good smoke.  A spirit of good will and hospitality will pervade the atmosphere, old grudges and feuds will be forgotten as the people come together to share the blessing of the gods.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie NEKNEERAJ’s Photo Challenge #290.

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