A Navajo Bringing–Home Ceremony: The Claus Chee Sonny Version of Deerway Ajiłee
Museum of Northern Arizona Press, 1978. 210 pp., paperback
Good +- Former Library book. Used but still in good shape. Very clean pages, almost like never read, but page 104 has separated from the book (see photo). Binding a bit brittle.
"Ajiłee" is the name of an extinct Navajo five-night healing ceremonial. In ethnological literature it has been referred to variously as Prostitutionway or Excessway. "Ajiłee" is also a word which refers to a variety of symptoms of general craziness, made manifest in sexual passion, prostitution, divorce, wildness, shyness, disorientation, hallucination, intoxication, restlessness, roaming, and Anglo-American mobility. The Deerway version of ajilee, the subject matter of this book, represents both a surviving portion of and a reaction against the now extinct and defamed five-night ceremonial. In the history of Navajo thought it stands as a valuable document, reflecting the time when roaming hunters and herders were forced to become sedentary. There are now on record four ajilee myths: one by Pepper (1908, recorded in 1904), one by Kluckhohn (1944, recorded probably after 1932), one by Father Berard Haile (1978, recorded in 1930), and the Claus Chee Sonny version presented in this volume (1978, recorded in 1976 and 1977). Of these four myths the first three earlier versions are theoretical remnants of what used to be the old ajiłee tradition of a five-night chantway.