Stars and the Earth

Grandfather’s teachings show same patterns in stars, land

GALLUP

Courtesy photo
An area in northwest New Mexico where Stevie C. Begaye Sr. says a series of peaks and mesas coincide with stars in the sky inside the constellation Cygnus.

Many people look at the night sky and wonder what’s up there, but one Navajo man’s experience as a child looking at the sky made him wonder what’s on the Earth.

Stevie C. Begaye Sr. said he wondered about Diné Bikéyah when his grandfather passed on knowledge verbally that he hopes to pass on digitally now. His chei said the stars reflect some landmarks on the face of the Earth.

As his chei passed it to him orally, he hopes to pass it on digitally with a website he said would go live last week. Recalling his knowledge of the phenomena took him back to the 80s under the predawn sky in preparation for a day’s work herding sheep.

“I would meet up with him on horseback and he will line me up on where to go and what to do for the day, and where to take the sheep, where the grasses are growing and all that, and then he would tell me,” Begaye said in an interview in Gallup.

“He would say, ‘Hey, grandson. You know that this landscape here, the star is actually on the land and the land is actually just out there in the sky.’ He would say that.”

Begaye speculated that the knowledge passed from generation to generation to span roughly 200 years. “His grandfather had told him, so he was born in the 1800s, the late 1800s,” Begaye said.

Since 1997, Begaye and his brother Ron Begay have put in time researching the connections. They secured the domain name www.navajostargazer.com, and hope for the website to go live soon. Begaye said he believes the research and funds warrant a price of $19.99 for full site access per month.

He estimated that cost to take 20 years to reimburse the time and funding put into the project over the years. “I’m just reporting to my people and to the world, this is what I have discovered. This is what it is,” he said.


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Categories: Culture

About Author

Christopher S. Pineo

Reporter Christopher S. Pineo's beats include education, construction, the executive branch, and pop culture. He also administers the Navajo Times Facebook page. In the diverse neighborhoods of Boston, Pineo worked, earned a master’s in journalism, and gained 10 years of newspaper experience. He can be reached at Chrisp@navajotimes.com.