This item is only available through the the University of Utah Press secure online store. Please note, this online store is unrelated to the shopping cart on our site. If you wish to make a purchase from this store, items must be paid for separately and will ship separately from items in your shopping cart.
Collected and translated by Washington Matthews
Navaho Legends is one of the earliest collections of Navajo oral traditions in English, and still the best. Originally published in 1897, Washington Matthews’s sensitive translation contains extensive versions of the Original Legend and two other tales. These richly detailed legends remain among the most complete sources of Navajo cultural, ritual, and ceremonial information.
This edition is fully faithful to the original, containing Matthews’s introduction, extensive notes, interlinear prayer translations, musical notations, and index, plus a new note on orthography by Robert Young.
Washington Matthews (1843–1905), U.S. Army Major and Surgeon, was based in the Southwest for a number of years. Conversant in Navajo, he was one of the earliest recorders of Navajo culture.
Grace McNeley was born and raised in Shiprock, New Mexico.
Table of Contents:
The Navaho Origin Legend
I. The Story of the Emergence
II. The Early Events in the Fifth World
III. The War Gods
IV. Growth of the Navaho Nation
The Great Shell of Kintyel
A Note on Orthography
Praise and Reviews:
“The foundation for much of the subsequent scholarship on Navajo. Valuable contributions to the study of Southwest Native Americans.”
—Journal of the West
“Nearly a century old, Matthews’ collection remains an essential reference for students of the Navajo culture—and indeed, for anyone interested in cultivating what might be called southwestern literacy.”
—Books of the Southwest