By Patricia Ann Lynch, Jeremy Roberts
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Extra resources for Native American Mythology A to Z, 2nd Edition
North is symbolized by the Mountain Lion; south, the Badger; east, the Wolf; west, the Bear; zenith (above), the Eagle; and nadir (below), the gopher or mole. Curing societies evoke the Beast Gods during retreats. The leader of the Beast Gods is the culture hero Poshayanki, with whom they live in Shipapolina, a sacred place. B eautyway â•‡ Navajoâ•‡ (Dineh)â•… A ceremonial curing complex, or group of ceremonies (called chants, sings, or ways) conducted to heal illness and restore harmony (hózhó) in the universe (see Navajo [Dineh] ceremonials).
He sleeps there in an endless hibernation, the keeper of dreams. The Cheyenne call Bear Butte Noaha-vose (also spelled Noahvose or Noavosse), the place of Maheo, the creator. According to tradition, this is where their great prophet, Sweet Medicine, received the four sacred arrows that contained the teachings of Maheo and brought blessings to the people. In Mandan origin stories, Bear Butte was the place where their ancestors were saved from the primordial flood. Beast Godsâ•‡ Zuniâ•… Animal deities associated with the six cardinal directions.
If the animals won, they would rule over humans and eat them. As humans and animals raced in a huge circle, the pounding of their feet wore a deep rut in the plains and pushed up a huge mound of earth in the center. This mound suddenly erupted, showering debris on the racers and killing many of them. Humans survived and declared themselves the winners. The Black Hills remain as a reminder of the great race that decided the fate of humanity. Black Mesaâ•… An Arizona mesa, now part of Navajo National Monument, that is sacred to both the Hopi and the Navajo (Dineh).