Diné Bizaad (Navajo)

[aka Diné Bizaad, Navajo, Navaho]

Classification: Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit


at risk


/Navajo String Games by Grandma Margaret

In this video clip, my grandma tells the Navajo story of how coyote had placed the stars in the sky and shows how to make two constellations using string, Dilyéhé (the Pleiades) and So' Bidee'í (Star With Horns). She continues by showing other string games, like Many Stars (So' Łání), Two Coyotes Running Apart (Ma'ii Ałts'áá' Yilwołí), Open the Gate, Lightening (Atsinitl'ish), the Arrowhead (Béésh Sist'ógii), Unraveling (Wóltáád), and Wood Carrier (Chizh Yooyéłí). Actually, my brother re-teaches my grandma how to make lightening. Many Stars and Coyotes Running Apart are also constellations in Navajo astronomy. String games (na'atl'o') are only played in the winter by Navajos because that's when the spider is asleep. Also, winter provided more time for social activities like string games or shoe games (Kééshjéé'). My mom used to tell me that if I played string games in the summer, a spider would sew up my butt. Languages spoken are English and Navajo. Note: English subtitiles are included if you have little to no understanding of the Navajo language, but annotations must be set to ON to see the subtitles!


Daybreak Warrior


Nov. 27, 2008