The Story of the Navaho Hail Chant
The Story of the Hail Chant was recorded by dictation from its owner, the medicine man Hastiin Klah (Hastiin Tł’ah) of Newcomb, New Mexico, during the early winter of 1938. He was a grandson of the famous headman Narbona, who helped prepare for the Treaty of 1849 and was killed at Tunicha by Lieutenant Colonel John Washington. Reichard has recorded the story of the Hail Chant with painstaking care.
Lucy Tabaha, the chanter’s niece, served as interpreter. Hastiin Tł’ah knew the Hail chant completely, and the chant died with him. This is the only account that we still have. It was closely related to the Shootingway chants and is said to have been performed for persons injured by water or suffering from muscular soreness and lameness.We are very fortunate to have this chant written down, especially since Reichard personally typed and financed The Hail Chant in 1944.
This text, originally recorded in the Navajo language, is written in the orthography devised by Dr. Sapir