Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-x

Charts

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pp. xi-xii

Figures

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pp. xiii-xiv

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Foreword to the Second Edition

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pp. xv-xxvi

In writing Navaho Religion, Gladys Reichard undertook a stupendous task, at which she was eminently successful. She set out to expound all the manifold elements—some, to the uninitiated observer, large, and some small, but all, to Navaho thinking, important—that make up a complex and...

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Preface

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pp. xxvii-xxx

The materials on which Navaho Religion: Λ Study of Symbolism is based are varied. With the aid of grants from the Southwest Society and the Council for Research in the Social Sciences, of Columbia University, here gratefully acknowledged, I spent, since 1930, eight summers and parts...

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Note on the Navaho Language

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pp. xxxi-xxxii

Since the Navaho language is very different from English, and particularly since the religion has a highly specialized idiom, I sometimes use Navaho words, chiefly when I can find no satisfactory English equivalent. They appear in a phonetic typography, which has no capital letters, even for...

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Introduction

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pp. xxxiii-xlviii

The Navaho, largest and most colorful Indian tribe in the United States, is superficially the best known. Its members wear costumes derived from old Spain and the cowboy tradition, and they travel on horseback or in covered wagons more frequently than in pickups, trucks, or sedans. They...

Part One: Dogma

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1. Navaho categories

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pp. 3-12

Navaho dogma is based upon a cosmogony that tries to account for everything in the universe by relating it to man and his activities. It assumes that even before man existed, the purpose for his appearance on the earth and his use of all nature's apparatus was formulated—by whom, no...

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2. World view

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pp. 13-25

As explained in Chapter 1, the Navaho reason from mythological precedent. Myth must be viewed as teleological; cosmogony is purposeful though sometimes the custom or object explained is not even known until its mythical creation. Unless this paradox is accepted, the materials cannot...

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3. The nature of man

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pp. 26-49

First Man and First Woman existed in the lowest mythological world. From the beginning their purpose was to arrange conditions suitable for the Navaho to people the earth. The First Pair had some human traits: they could think and talk; they knew something about sex; they had...

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4. Pantheon: characteristics of supernaturals

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pp. 50-62

At various points in man's walk through life all the courage u and endurance he summons may fail; he then invokes the superior power of the supernaturals. Dogma does not try to account for the origin of the deities. They simply were, without birth or creation, or they were transformed...

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5. Pantheon: types of supernaturals

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pp. 63-79

Some of the gods who play a major role in the chants analyzed may be called Persuadable Deities because their motives are good. Among them are Sun, Changing Woman, most of the xa'ctcé, Racing Gods, and all their duplicates (Chapter 4). Some of these have many kinds of...

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6. Theory of disease

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pp. 80-103

The causes of disease fall into two categories, definite and indefinite. Failure to observe some of the numerous restrictions that regulate the correct Navaho life is a relatively definite cause. If a person knew and heeded them all, he could exist only as a hidebound ascetic, hardly free to...

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7. Theory of curing

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pp. 104-122

The first step in curing is taken by finding out, by a review of past behavior or consultation with a seer, the particular evils responsible for illness. Bad things sent by malevolent spirits, or even the spirits themselves, may enter the body. A few examples of the evil beings, the way...

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8. Ethics

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pp. 123-144

The ethical system is a function of social as well as religious organization. The family into which an individual is born determines his obligations and privileges. The extended family has a much larger membership than the simple unit in our society, since it is a subdivision of a...

Part Two: Symbolism

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9. The nature of symbolism

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pp. 147-170

The examination of concepts has implied that there is a system by means of which they are held together, a coordination of series of symbols with special significance, so projected as to fit into a comprehensive pattern. The pattern includes everything in the dogma and ritual; all the...

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10. Sex, dominance, and size

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pp. 171-179

Since reproduction is a primary concern of Navaho religion, sex would be expected to be a major symbol. To understand it, the relative position of the sexes in the culture should be examined. Actually, there is little to limit what women may attain in any phase of Navaho...

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11. Alternation, reversal, and negation

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pp. 180-186

One reason for some changes in repeated sandpaintings is the stipulation that the chanter change colors or the color sequence in successive performances, a rule that accounts for some differences previously thought to be errors. Since the chanter's achievements have never been...

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12. Color and precious stones

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pp. 187-213

Color, an outstanding symbol of Navaho ceremonialism, is especially significant in combination, but first I discuss the more general aspects of each color in the order in which they most commonly occur. No color or sequence runs through a single chant consistently; none has the same...

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13. Color combinations

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pp. 214-240

Meanings may best be determined in combinations of colors. It has long been assumed that each Southwest tribe has a fixed color pattern for the cardinal directions. I do not know whether this is true of the other tribes, but it certainly is not of the Navaho.
A cursory study of the Shooting...

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14. Number

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pp. 241-249

Repetition is one of the major devices of Navaho ritual. The attention formerly paid to fourfold repetition has obscured the whole subject of number, since four and multiples of four were selected for emphasis from the vast array of numbers actually found. The analysis of prayers has shown...

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15. Perceptual symbols

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pp. 250-266

Though the Navaho are so impressed by color that they have woven it into their entire ritualistic scheme, they seem to regard it as a function of light. In Stevenson's origin myth we are told, "By the time they had reached the fourth world the people had separated light into its several...

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16. Word, formula, and myth

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pp. 267-276

The Navaho cosmogonists were interested in man's culture and institutions no less than in the natural order. Language, perhaps the most intricate phase of culture, is by its nature symbolical, but in addition to the expected linguistic symbolism, there is ritualistic symbolism, like that...

Part Three: Ritual

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17. Song

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pp. 279-300

Song, an indispensable part of ritual, a link between dogma and symbolism, has linguistic, literary, and musical aspects. Although many Navaho songs have been collected, few have been analyzed, the summaries being based on small samples of selected...

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18. Prayersticks

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pp. 301-313

The word 'prayerstick' is essential to a discussion of any Southwestern religion. The thing for which it stands occurs in many forms besides the feathered stick from which it takes its name. In Navaho the name is...

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19. Classification of ceremonies

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pp. 314-337

Of the several classifications of Navaho ceremonies the most inclusive is that of Wyman and Kluckhohn, which is based partly on Father Berard's terminology.1 Mv own attempt, far from complete, was arrived at by another method. Instead of starting with the comprehensive...

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20. Organization of ritual

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pp. 338-354

Whereas the ethnologist is interested in the classification of ceremonies and the interpretation as a whole, the singer is engrossed in the details of the chant he knows; he enlarges the field of his preoccupation only as he obtains new knowledge. He occupies himself, therefore, with the...

Notes

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pp. 355-378

Concordances

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Concordance A. Supernatural beings

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pp. 381-505

Concordance A is an introductory attempt to characterize the supernatural beings of the animistic Navaho pantheon, particularly those dealt with in the ceremonies analyzed in this book; it does not pretend to be complete. Following most of the names is an abbreviation—a capital...

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Concordance B. Ritualistic ideas

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pp. 506-613

Concordance B deals with ideas relevant to the ceremonies, including the mythological concepts that purport to explain them. It is far from exhaustive, the items listed being those related to the chants with which I have had most experience—Male Shooting Chant Holy and...

Concordance C. Rites

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pp. 614-736

List of concordance topics

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pp. 737-743

Abbreviations

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pp. 744-746

Bibliography

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pp. 747-762

Index

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pp. 763-804

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Biographical Note

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pp. 805-806

Gladys Armanda Reichard was born in 1893 in Bangor, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a Quaker physician. She was graduated from Swarthmore College and in 1925 earned the Ph.D. at Columbia University, where she was a student of Franz Boas. In 1926-27, she engaged in postdoctoral study...

Other Works in the Series

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pp. 807-807