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tah lah woh-sh

This Navajo word is also sometimes spelt ‘tálághosh.’ The meaning is the same, but some Navajo texts prefer one to the other. In both cases, however, the pronunciation is not exactly as it may seem if you were to judge purely by the vocalization of the letters. This is a subtle detail that often confuses readers of the Navajo language.

Besides that, the word itself means soap. It’s actually a reference to the suds made by the yucca root. Before Old Spice and Dove soap, Navajo people used these roots which had to be dig up from the ground. Working the root in water creates a lather that can be used for maintaining hygiene. The word is, this method is far superior than store-bought shampoos and soaps!

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