Waterway

$ 32.95

Book Condition:  Softcover with 161 pages; a few b&w illustrations; bilingual text in English and Navajo. Very good condition with light external wear.

From the introduction: The present account of the Waterway ceremonial of the Navajo was obtained in November, 1929, from Dághanáshjiin, Black Mustache Circle. The present ceremony belongs to the chantway series among Navajo ceremonials. In earlier days it was most likely performed as a major ceremonial, and efforts were always made to invite singers of this rite to corral dances of any description. A sandpainting is still made on rare occasions, as (formerly). Undoubtedly, the disappearance of the ceremonial has been gradual and, as the informant stated, it is now largely confined to the cutting of prayersticks. With these particulars his account shows much familiarity and, fortunately, he has been able to give us many details of this phase in Navajo ritualism. He has also been able to present a fairly complete picture of the entire scheme of this vanishing ceremonial. Its connection with Hallway is suggested in the first part of the narrative, but details for comparison between the two ceremonials are not yet at hand. Similarly, the affinities with Downy Featherway are unmistakable.

On the other hand, its scheme is entirely distinctive. Water itself, water fowl, water animals and plants are brought to the foreground as a requisite for curing injuries inflicted by this basic element. Originally, venereal and skin diseases must have sought relief in this healing ceremonial.

For the translation and many additional suggestions we are indebted to Albert Sandoval of Lukachukai, Arizona.

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