over there

over there

Navajo Word of the Day: "Dust Devil"

7h ago
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Today's Navajo Word of the Day is "dust devil." To say "dust devil" in Navajo, you say "naats'ó̜'oołdísii." A dust devil is essentially a whirlwind made up of dust. To use it in a sentence, you can say, "Niléíjí̜ naats'ó̜'oołdísii yigááł," which means, "There is a dust devil traveling over there." The breakdown: Niléíjí̜: over in that direction Naats'ó̜'oołdísii: a dust devil Yigááł: it is walking In an old Navajo story about a boy named "Łeeyah Neeyání" (Raised in the Ground), who is also known as "Naayéé' Neizghání" (Monster Slayer) in Navajo, he came across Giant (Yé'iitsoh) who tried to kill him. To make a long story short, Łeeyah Neeyání killed Giant with the help of "Na'ashó'ii Dich'ízhii" (Horned Toad). After Łeeyah Neeyání killed Giant, Giant's ch'í̜i̜dii (evil spirit) came back to try to kill Łeeyah Neeyání in the form of a dust devil (naats'ó̜'oołdísii). With the help of Béésh Ast'ogii Dine'é (Arrowhead People), Łeeyah Neeyání finally destroyed the Giant's ch'í̜i̜dii. Since Giant's ch'í̜i̜dii came back in the form of a dust devil or whirlwind, some traditional Navajos regard dust devils as evil spirits. For that reason it is sometimes considered taboo to throw things at a whirlwind or walk through them. By doing such things, it's said it'll attack you. I'm not saying to believe that, but I know that some of you viewers like to know a little cultural context of a few things. Enjoy! :-)