Navajo youth encouraged to learn about traditional teachings regarding solar eclipse

TSAILE, Ariz. – On Monday, Aug. 21 the United States will experience a total solar eclipse in which the moon will pass between the sun and the earth from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (MDT), and will be visible across the Navajo Nation.

In reverence for the upcoming solar eclipse, the Diné College campus in Tsaile, Arizona will host a traditional teaching event, which will include traditional guidance and prayer from Navajo medicine people from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Council Delegate Nathaniel Brown (Chilchinbeto, Dennehotso, Kayenta) said because of cultural protocols, Navajo people must follow traditional procedures as the solar eclipse takes place, and encouraged Navajo citizens to participate in the traditional teaching event.

“We as Diné are going to experience something that rarely happens across our lands, and we can use this rare opportunity to teach our children and people about the significance of the solar eclipse. We are reminded of how our ancestors revered this natural phenomenon, so I encourage our people, especially our youth, to participate in the traditional teaching and prayer gathering at Diné College,” Brown said.

Brown said that according to the Navajo medicine people, the traditional protocols and practices for Navajo people during the entirety of the solar eclipse includes:

· Staying inside your home or building, especially expecting parents (mother and father)

· Refrain from drinking water/beverages or eating (fasting)

· Abstain from napping, intimacy, or publicizing/broadcasting the eclipse

The Navajo Nation government and its offices will be closed Aug. 21 to respect the solar eclipse occurrence. In a memo drafted by the Navajo Nation’s three branch chiefs, the Navajo government must abide by Fundamental Law and respect natural, customary, traditional and common laws, as it is recognized in Title I of the Navajo Nation Code..

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