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The Great Flood


Blanca Peak in Colorado. Known in Navajo as Sisnaajiní or White Shell Mountain. It is the sacred mountain representing the East.

In every culture and religion there is a flood story. The Navajo is not exempt from this. Our great flood happened in the third world called “The Yellow World.”

What had happened was coyote, under the direction of ’Áltsé Asdzą́ą́ (first Woman), stole a baby from the water. This baby happened to belong to Tééhoołtsódii, the water monster. Coyote hid the baby under his arms.

Tééhoołtsódii learned of this and began to make it rain. ’Áltsé Hastiin (first Man) heard of the flood from the animals in the Yellow World and he told them to go to Sisnaajiní (Blanca Peak

Now ’Áltsé Hastiin went to all the sacred mountains to gather dirt and from each one, he planted tall growing plants to reach the sky. Out of the four plants he tried the last one, Lók’aa’ (Reed Plant) was the only one to reach the top.

As the people climbed to the top, they came out into the Fourth World also known as “The Glittering World.” Because the Turkey was the last one to climb up, his the very tip of his tail feathers are white. It was the only thing in the water.

When the people reached the top, they realized that coyote had Tééhoołtsódii’s baby under his arms. The water receded and returned to normal after an offering was made with the return of the baby.