Native American culture is rich in ancient knowledge and wisdom, and this is, in many ways, reflected in symbolism and stories passed down. Much Native American jewelry (including Hopi Jewelry) and American Indian arts and crafts design honors this symbolism.
There are 175,000 modern-day speakers of Dine Bizaad, the language of the Navajo. Through keeping their language alive, many words of ancient wisdom and proverbs have been handed down through the generations, advising on the relationship between humans and the land as well as family, elders, ancestors, and the rewards of hard work.
For our last blog entry for 2019, here are just a few powerful, meaningful sayings from the Navajo – people whose wisdom dates back to very ancient times and which survives and thrives to this day. These sayings reflect this wisdom and capture the very essence of the Navajo belief system.
- There is nothing as eloquent as a Rattlesnake’s tail.
- A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family.
- If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove.
- You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. (A metaphor, this refers to people who resist being “awakened” as they have something to lose by doing so).
- Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. (A saying to spur action)
- Be still and the earth will speak to you.
- One rain does not make a crop.
- When a man moves away from Nature, his heart becomes hard.
- All who have died are equal. (Refers to a common Afterlife for all).
- A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pickax. (Hard work is what reaps reward).
- Thoughts are like arrows: once released, they strike their mark. Guard them well or one day you may be your own victim.
- Always assume your guest is tired, cold, and hungry – and act accordingly.
- If you want to see what your body will look like tomorrow, look at your thoughts today.
- Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
Wishing all a safe, happy, prosperous Festive Season, no matter how you observe this time of year, and a very Happy, Prosperous New Year.
We’ll see you in 2020!