Traditional Navajo Medicine and Healing : A Narrative Investigation of Prayer, Song, and Ceremony Towards H6zht;
Allen, Tyler C.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the conditions that the Navajo believe enable traditional Navajo medicine to heal the Navajo people from illness and disease. The Navajo People have been using traditional medicine and healing systems hundreds of years before western biomedicine, and so it is essential to understand and recognize its importance. The study took place on the Navajo Nation in the Southwest of the United States where participants were interviewed. The participants selected were patients, elders, scholars, and medicine men who talked about their experiences, accounts, and knowledge of traditional Navajo medicine. In the world of the Navajo, illness arises when a person's state of balance and harmony called H6zh9 gets disrupted when he or she come into contact with taboos. Illness results in many different forms that can adversely affect the health of the Navajo people. Healing occurs when the Navajo have traditional healing ceremonies that attract the Navajo deities or Holy People to restore harmony and balance in the person's state of H6zhtj. Ultimately, restoring balance and harmony to a person's state of H6zh9 gives a holistic approach to healing him or her physically, mentally, and spiritually. Importantly, the Navajo people are at risk of losing their culture, language, and healing ceremonies if they do not continue the teachings of the Holy People to the next generations. The ceremonies, language, and culture can be saved and continue to thrive when the younger generations take responsibility of learning, preserving, and honoring the Navajo ways.