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Ahsonnutli, Navajo Sky God - Windows to the Universe

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Sketch of a Navajo sand painting depicting the sky spirits.

Ahsonnutli

Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god for the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four directions, or cardinal points, are supported by a giant. Each direction is symbolized by a color: white-east; blue-south; yellow-west; black-north.

These colors are used by shaman (holy man) or singers during various ceremonies to create beautiful sand paintings. The Navajo believe that each direction has a distinct wind which forms the clouds.

The clouds are believed to be the movement of the wings of white swans in each of the four corners.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF