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Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta teachers ‘revitalizing’ Diné bizaad

Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta teachers ‘revitalizing’ Diné bizaad

By Rick Abasta
Special to the Times


Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta’ hosted its monthly Family Literacy Night April 26, bringing together students and parents for an evening focused on béhé, or lambing.
Kathlyn McCray, the fourth- and fifth-grade teacher at TDB, provided the presentation on lambing.

Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta teachers ‘revitalizing’ Diné bizaad

Special to the Times | Rick Abasta
Part of the “Béhé” presentation for Family Literacy Night at Tséhootsooí Diné Bi’Ólta’ is an activity for participants to make a lamb using paper cutouts, construction paper, glue, cotton balls, a string and bell, and colored pencils.

She said, “Béhé bimá doo hólǫ́ da.”

McCray said these orphaned lambs are usually brought into the home, where they play and are fed milk from a soda bottle sealed with a black nipple. She recounted stories of lambs jumping on her back while she slept, licking her face, and cheering her up during sadness.

An audience of about 35 people filled the Window Rock Elementary School Cafeteria, listening to the traditional teaching. Students passed out scissors, crayons, colored pencils, strips of yarn, a bell, cotton balls, and a patterned cutout for a lamb.

The activity was to create a béhé for display at home or on the wall at the school with other lambs created by students. Parents, students, and grandparents busied themselves cutting out the pattern and making sheep.

The audience was treated to dinner during the activity, featuring green chili posole chicken stew, bread, chips, tea or pop, and fruit cups for dessert. The atmosphere was light and happy, with many families speaking and interacting with other parents at their table.

Read the full story in the May 11 edition of the Navajo Times.


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