Your Friday, and weekend, word is e’e’aah, which means evening, sundown, sunset, or west.
Navajo culture teaches that both nature and the universe are inherently ordered, and in keeping with that belief the west is considered the third direction. It does not mean that it is any less significant than the other directions. In fact, symbolically speaking, e’e’aah is associated with the carrying out of the living and learning process that began with the rising sun (ha’a’aah) and its next stage as it rises towards noon (shadi’aah). It is the execution of our thoughts and our planning.
This doesn’t mean you should spend all morning and noon thinking and planning, and then wait until the evening to do work! The four cardinal directions simply serve as a reminder of this process, and is there to be observed and applied in life.
Continuing today with Navajo place names, Tóhajiilee is a community located about 35 miles west of Albuquerque in New Mexico and was also known as Cañoncito. It is not physically a contiguous part of the Navajo Reservation, but it maintains a legitimate presence in the Navajo Nation Tribal Government.
This word was chosen to replace Cañoncito in the late 1990s because previous generations of Navajo people drew water (tó) from natural wells that were situated in the area. Members of the community decided that a true Navajo name was more suitable and they were successful in making it official with the various surrounding governments.
What’s interesting is that this trend continues today. Multiple chapters* have adopted Navajo names in lieu of Spanish or English place names in recent years.
*‘Chapters’ refers to Chapter Houses, which are the local government offices that assume the political affairs of the local (geographical) community. In all, there are 110 chapters that comprise the Navajo Nation.