Drawing depicting the Navajo god Coyote.
According to Navajo mythology, the
was created by the mischievous
behavior of the god, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars in the sky. Coyote grew annoyed at the slowness of this process.
In his anger, he chose to place a red star, called Ma'iio, in the south. Ma'iio means 'the one who roams'. This star symbolizes Coyote and appears for only a short time during the year. To the Navajo, it is a symbol of trouble. Coyote continued to be displeased with the Holy People's progress and threw the bag of stars over his head, forming the Milky Way.
Coyote was a trickster, and would often use this to get what he wanted. In one story, Coyote turned a hero into a coyote, and in turn became the man. He went to the hero's home and slept with his wife. Coyote smelled very bad. When the wife visited her mother, she smelled the Coyote on the wife. They then knew that Coyote had tricked them.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
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...more
Amphitrite was one of the sea-nymphs called the Nereids. One day the sea god Poseidon saw her dancing and fell desperately in love with her. He promptly asked her to marry him but unfortunately she refused....more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According to Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the mischievous behavior of the god, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars in the...more