Origin Legend Of The Navaho Enemy Way
The story of the Navajo Twins, Monster Slayer (Naayééʼ Neizghání) and Born for Water (Naʼ ídígishí), exists in many versions. It can be said with certainty though, that Father Berard Haile’s publication, is the most authoritative and extensive version ever written and recorded. “The text was obtained in the winter month of 1930, and dictated by Slim Curly of Crystal, New Mexico, a singer of recognized authority on every phase of this rite,” he writes in the introduction. This text, originally recorded in the Navajo language, is written in the orthography devised by Dr. Sapir, and arranged with each page facing its English translation for easy following. The Navajo text and translation is in four parts. The first, “Monster Way,” tells of the origin of the man–devouring monsters which appeared soon after the emergence of the people from the underworlds; of the birth of the miraculous twins, Enemy Slayer and Born for Water; of their visit to their father the Sun in order to obtain weapons; and of their campaigns against the monsters in order to make the earth a fit habitat for the human race. The second part, Enemy Way Legend, describes a war on the Taos Pueblo and subsequent events. Monster Slayer is the leader in the war; and the Hard Flint Boys, represented by the Black Dancers in the Enemy Way ceremonial, are introduced. The third part is the Enemy Way Ceremony, performed with the Young Man of Jarring Mountain as the patient, in order to restore the earth which was suffering from the effects of the conflicts with the Monsters and with the Taos warriors. The fourth part is a detailed description of the present day ceremonial itself. In the Appendix we find the text of the Enemy Way songs, including important notes to the song texts.