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Navajo’s Creation Story

Navajo’s Creation Story

Theme topic: Making use of the Social-Epistemic reading model, how is the worldview presented in the
Navajo creation account different from what you understand the Genesis worldview to be? Be sure to
explain your understanding of the Navajo worldview before discussing similarities and differences
between the two texts. In part four of your paper, reconsider Genesis as creation via arrangement. That
is, if God is a great arranger rather than a creator from nothing (as outlined in the Navajo account), what
is the moral lesson for human beings? That is, what is the appropriate model of behavior for human
beings? As you read and write, consider the relationship between the created (both human and
nonhuman) and the creator? Follow the outline supplied in the weekly theme assignment sheet to

structure your reading and analysis.

Making use of the Social-Epistemic reading model, how is the worldview presented in the
Navajo creation account different from what you understand the Genesis worldview to be?

The Navajo creation story holds that the first combination of the world was small and
pitches black. The story claims that there existed four seas with an island in the middle. In the
island there was a single pine tree, ants, beetles, locusts, and dragonflies making the Air-Spirit
People of this first world (Birchfield, 2014). Each of the four seas that existed then was ruled by
a single supernatural being, the Frog, the Blue Heron, the White Thunder, and the Big Water
Creature. Above the sea existed a black cloud, a yellow cloud, a white cloud, and a blue cloud.
The female spirit resided in the black cloud while the male lived in the white (Scottoline, 2014).
As Scottoline (2014) notes the Navajo creation story involves three underworlds in which
very significant events takes place to shape the fourth world which is the current world. The
Navajo creation story demonstrates trends and patterns of change that have their roots in the
historical context through the traditional ceremonies that existed in the past and today. It can also
be argued that the story is a representation of a preliterate society concerning religion in their
ancient economic, political, and religious settings.
According to the Navajo creation, the first inhabitants in the world were the air-spirit
people who travelled the air and would fly swiftly like the wind (Scottoline, 2014). Comparing
this to the Genesis, there was nothing that existed before humans were created. However, the air-
spirit people can be compared to the angels in the story of the Genesis creation. Before creation,
there seems to have been a chaotic situation in both stories with darkness hovering across the
waters in Genesis and the inhabitants of the first world in Navajo were just doing their own
things (Birchfield, 2014). Again, the air-spirit people seem to have angered someone a result of
which caused a giant wave and flood. As it is stated in the Navajo story the insurmountable wall
of water surrounded them and they saw that it was closing in rapidly on them. This is very close
to the story of Noah and the great flood as told in the Genesis.

A closer analysis of the Navajo creation story and the Genesis provides two differing
views of creation. Genesis generally answers more questions than the Navajo creation myth
(Scottoline, 2014). The Navajo story does not go into details of how human beings came into
existence. It only tries to explain the essence of existence from deep within the same world that
exists today. It fails to explain how humans could have gotten to that first world (Birchfield,
2014). Again, the story suggests that humans had the power to create everything without
explaining what happened to that power afterwards.
The genesis presents a succession of the creation of the earth with life on it and also
humankind. Both male and female were created at the same time unlike in the Navajo story. The
Genesis story has God depicted as the Supreme Being and the ultimate creator unlike in the
Navajo story where humans are presented as the creators (Birchfield, 2014). Indeed, both stories
have a supreme being only that their roles in creation differ from each other.
The Navajo creation story implies that God is the great arranger as opposed to the creator
as presented in the Genesis. This has certain implications and moral lessons for human beings.
First, it implies that human beings have a crucial role in the creation of the universe and
everything that is in. As such, they are tasked with the responsibility of overseeing order and
peace in the world. Human beings in this arrangement are key players in bring about harmony
among all the creation including humans and animals. Humans should also take the
responsibility of protecting the earth and its creation. For instance, it is his duty to safeguard
nature and wildlife. Secondly, it brings about the idea that humans are part of the supreme
authority that enabled him to take part in creation. These powers are still vested in humans now
as the protectors of creation. Thirdly, it also depicts the sacred nature of humans as the sources

and part of the creation process. Indeed, it would be justifiable to claim that all creation is the
manifestation of the authority and nature of the supreme God.
The supreme God exists as a spirit just like was the case of humans during the creation
period as depicted by the Navajo creation story. As such, man represents the highest level of
God’s manifestation here on earth. Besides, this aspect of the creation should act to exhibit the
close relationship that should exist between man and God. In this view, humans ought to be the
representation of God on earth. Humans become the ambassador of the Supreme Being and the
link between the world and God. All creation (both human and non-human) are expected to
maintain high standards of order by the great arranger and through man as the overseer of
creation here on earth.


Lisa Scottoline, O. (2014). The Best American Mystery Stories: Volume 17. [N.p.]: Head of Zeus.

Birchfield, D. (2014). Navajos. Gale, Cengage Learning.

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