Bįįh

The Navajo word bįįh refers to the deer.

It is held that early Diné people hunted deer, and from these created buckskin clothing. The leather was also used in creating kélchí (kéłchí) – or moccasins – and the feminine variant ké ntsaaí.

Very little was wasted when it came to hunting and capturing animals. Deer provided sustenance and also imparted a mark of skill to hunters of bįįh. 

In Navajo tradition, the First Woman and First Man (Áłtsé Asdzą́ą́n and Áłtsé Hastiin) were formed partly from deer hide. There are also hunting stories that convey experiences of early hunters through struggles and subsequent encounters with talking spirits, which impart knowledge to the hunter.

There are also several deer clans, such as Bįįh Bitoodnii (Deer Springs), Bįįh Yáázh Dine’é (Little Deer People), Bįįh Tsoh Dine’é (Big Deer People), Bįįh Dine’é Táchii’nii (The Deer People of the Red Running Into Water clan). Some of these clans are of Hopi descent.