NavajoWOTD

na'azhǫǫsh

gambling or casino

nah uzh oh-sh

Na’azhǫǫsh is the Navajo name for a game that involves a hoop and stick, and in modern usage refers to gambling or a casino.

In Navajo tradition, the game was well known among the many people of the old world. It is often said that Coyote was once very beautiful, with a lustrous coat of fur. But he lost a game of na’azhǫǫsh to the otters, in which he bet his skin. It was replaced with the coat like the badgers, which was rough and coarse.

Now, with the construction of multiple casino facilities around the Navajo Nation, the game is symbolic of the gamblers who played it. The Twin Arrows casino, which is yet to be completed, between Winslow, AZ and Flagstaff, AZ is one such Navajo casino.

kélchí

moccasins

kehl chih

The Navajo word kélchí refers to the moccasin in English.

Part of this word, ké, is the Navajo word for shoes in general, or things that are worn to protect the feet.

When you use the word for shoe to say “my shoes” the word becomes shikee’ (“your shoes” – nikee’; “his shoes” – bikee’).

hastiin

man, mister, mr

hus teen

The Navajo word hastiin refers to a man. In many cases, it is the equivalent of “Mister (Mr.)” in the English language.

Hastiin Yazzie may be considered Mr. Yazzie.

Áłtsé Hastiin is the Navajo name for the First Man of Navajo Creation tradition.

Recall that the word for woman was part of the Navajo WOTD post for earth – or Nahasdzáán.

wóshdę́ę́'

come in

whosh deh

The Navajo word wóshdę́ę́’ is somewhat common in usage and roughy means “come in” in English.

You might say this when someone is visiting, or arriving, at a place wherein you are already inside the building or room. It’s an invitation, of sorts.

Occasionally, you may hear dóóshdę́ę́’ (dóó wóshdę́ę́’) and that is used to express a condition from one point in time, or space, to the present. (i.e. “I have been wearing braces since the fourth grade (until now).” / “From the pond to here, my mother has been singing.”)

neeshch'íí'

pinon nut

neh sh chee

The Navajo word neeshch’íí’ refers to the pinyon nuts of the pinyon pine tree.

Neeshch’íí’ is harvested every few years and can be roasted for eating.

Many people have harvested and resold neeshch’íí’, which is somewhat considered a delicacy food.

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