Mountainway of the Navajo
The Mountainway of the Navajo, with a Myth of the Female Branch. Leland C. Wyman, Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1975. Pp. xv + 271:
Includes a myth of the female branch recorded and translated by Father Berard Haile, O.F.M., 32 illustrations of Mountainway sandpaintings, with detailed analysis of their symbols and designs.
The Mountainway of the Navajo is a valuable contribution toward a fuller understanding and appreciation of the Navajo heritage. Leland C. Wyman, along with Father Berard Haile, has been responsible for giving English speaking readers access to numerous major ceremonials, including Blessingway, Beautiway, Red Antway, the Windways, and several others.
The myth of the Female Mountain-Top-way told by Yucca Patch and recorded and translated by Father Berard Haile appears here in print for the first time.
The Mountainway is used- to treat illnesses caused by influences from mountain animals, primarily the bear. Wyman describes and analyzes the ceremonies that comprise the chant, including the spectacular Corral or Fire Dance. He also explains the songs - with English translations of nineteen examples - and the preparation and ritualistic use of prayersticks. Here, too, are illustrations of thirty-two Mountainway sandpaintings and an in-depth analysis of their symbols and designs. Wyman discusses the mythology of Mountainway, using eight variations of the myth by different Navajos, and shows the connection of these legends with legends in different ceremonials. Special attention is given to the story of The Pueblo War which serves as an introduction to the myths of Beautyway and Female Mountainway and to the Enemyway rite. Wyman also offers analyses of other stories and some notes on the geography of the Mountainway myths.
Condition: Very Good +. Hardcover, first Edition, with marginal pink highlighter mark of two pages, otherwise crisp and clean pages. Mild cover edge wear. Dustjacket with scuffs and edge wear. Cover reinforced with clear mylar.