The dramatic landscape of the Southwest in and around the sprawling Navajo Reservation is as important to my novels, Key Witness and Abducted Innocence, as the two main characters, Emily and Abe. To the Navajo people, the mountains, mesas, waters, and land are sacred, as are the animals and plants that live there.
According to Navajo legends, there are six sacred mountains: Mount Blanca in the East; Mount Taylor in the South; The San Francisco Peaks in the West; Mount Hesperus in the North; Huerfano Mesa; and Gobernador Knob. The Navahos belief is that their Creator placed them on the land between these sacred mountains. All play a significant role in the creation stories. It is said that each mountain is a holy person dressed in various outfits. Their configurations and colors help define their role in the history of the Dinetah or Navajo people. Here are the six sacred mountains and their Navajo meaning:
Mount Blanca (Tsisnaasjini’ – Dawn or White Shell Mountain)
Mount Taylor (Tsoodzil – Blue Bead or Turquoise Mountain)
- San Francisco Peaks (Doko’oosliid – Abalone Shell Mountain)
- Mount Hesperus Dibé Nitsaa (Big Mountain Sheep)
Gobernador Knob (Ch’óol’í’í – Fir Mountain)
El Huerfano (Dziłná’oodiłii – Doorway
- Books 1 and 2 of the Emily Etcitty Mysteries can be purchased at Amazon.com.