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What is ShipRock? (Naatʼáanii Nééz)

I was learning Navajo and I noticed it was talking about Shiprock a lot does anyone know what this is?

March 16, 2020



There are two Shiprocks: the geological formation, called Tsé Bitʼaʼí in Diné, and the nearby town of Shiprock, called Naatʼáanii Nééz or Tooh. The sentences in the lesson refer to the town. Its two names are Naatʼáanii Nééz, which refers to a former BIA leader in the area, and Tooh, which a native speaker on the forums explained comes from the name of the San Juan River.

There are Wikipedia articles about both in Diné: https://nv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naat%CA%BC%C3%A1anii_N%C3%A9%C3%A9z and https://nv.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ts%C3%A9_Bit%CA%BCa%CA%BC%C3%AD


It is a spiritual place for the Native Americans. There is an abundance of knowledge about it with a Bing or google search.


It's a place in the Southern United States.


Ok Thanks sorry I didn't know do you know why they talk about in this course so much?


It is popular with most Navajos.


Ah ok thanks for the info


I had the same question, this is what I got when I searched it. As election season nears, you should know that naat’áanii is the Navajo word for leader. It can also refer to someone who holds a position of leadership, like a boss, superintendent, or chief.

In the Navajo sense, Naat’áanii have been observed to follow 4 basic tenets of leadership (remember that 4 is a recurring number in Navajo tradition). It is roughly described as follows: 1) Thought process and planning; 2) implementation and actualization of planning; 3) the period of change that follows action; 4) the reiteration of the planning for improvement.

In the old days, this leadership structure was taught to certain children who were expected to become leaders later in life. It was common that the thought process was carried out by women, and then executed by the men. This is why Navajo culture is, at its core, matrilineal.


My mother spent her last years living in Farmington, NM (New Mexico). While she was dying of cancer, I made many trips to visit her, flying from Oakland, CA to Albuquerque, NM, renting a car, and driving from Albuquerque to Farmington, about 200 miles each way on Highway 550. In New Mexico, one is surrounded by Navajo culture (as well as other cultures). My wife (born in Hong Kong) was always mistaken for Navajo when we visited together.

Being in that part of New Mexico (northwest), one always visits Shiprock. It is the local outstanding geological feature.


It features in a lot of Navajo legends.


I'm sorry for your loss. I hope that the lingot that I will give you will help. :)

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