► Tsints’osi’ Sodizin’ (Prayer Stick)

It was a hot Friday and the first night of the  “Enemy Way” ceremony.  My mother, relatives, and I were in the shade house preparing food for the horsemen and women that were arriving. 

We were all sweating, cooking, and cleaning.  It felt like 100 degrees outside and 110 degrees in the shade house.  There were two fires going, which was almost unbearable for me, but after an hour I gave up the fight in trying to remain dry because the heat melted me.

After an hour, my clothes were drenched and I slowly ate a bowl of hot mutton stew with frybread and warm water.

Another hour went by and a group of men and women arrived on horseback with the prayer stick.  I counted eighteen of them.  They stopped in front of the hogan and gave the prayer stick to my little cousin and she went into the hogan.  My cousin was 9 years old and dressed up in a gold Navajo traditional outfit.  Soon, I heard singing in the hogan and that went on for about half an hour.

As they sang, my mother, aunts, and cousins quickly served food to the men and women on horseback.  I sat and watched beside my mother’s van until the sun went down. 

All night the clans people played card games as they waited for the squaw dance to start at ten.

My mother was excited to hear the first four songs because they were more traditional and only the elderly men knew those songs.

This was the first of three nights of the Enemyway ceremony for the Towerhouse clan of Dennehotso and Rock Point, AZ.  The clans that attended: Bitterwater, Water’s Edge, One Who Walks Around, and so on.