Balladeer’s Blog will now present a repost of the next chapter in the Navajo war god Nayanazgeni’s battle with the dark gods called the Anaye. This story first ran on my blog in 2010 so it will be new to most of you.
9. THE GODS WITH LIGHTNING EYES – Nayanazgeni now set out to slay the Anaye known as Binaye Ahani, the gods who killed with lightning from their eyes. In some versions of the Heroic Twins’ battles with their monstrous foes ALL of the creatures they face, Deelgeth, the Thunderbirds, etc kill with their eyes.
While Nayanazgeni was trekking along, the salt goddess Ashiih Estsan appeared to him and instructed him to come to her home at what is now called Zuni Salt Lake to gather salt, which would be of use to him in his battle with these particular Anaye. In other versions the mother (or mothers) of the Heroic Twins gives this advice. Nayanazgeni obeyed these instructions, establishing the sacred tradition of gathering salt prior to major undertakings.
The Binaye Ahani stood upright, had long, thin bodies, stubby arms and legs and faces with bulging eyes. Or in some versions multiple faces running up their bodies, like on a totem pole, and the bulging eyes on all the faces shot the deadly rays which were their weapons. Their numbers vary from myth to myth. In some versions they lived in underground tunnels that they burrowed themselves and in others they lived in systems of caves.
Either way, their homes were said to be adorned with beautiful precious gems as well as minerals like gold, silver, copper, etc. The legend of these treasures filling the homes of these Anaye lured people into their lairs, where, in a tidy little object lesson the Anaye would shoot the treasure-seekers with the lightning from their eyes, transforming the bodies of their victims into the gems and minerals they had come hoping to steal. Thus the treasures increased in number, luring even more greedy people in search of them. In other versions the rays just killed the victims.
Nayanazgeni entered the subterranean lair of the Anaye, seeing the glittering bodies of their victims scattered throughout the labyrinthine corridors. He at last came to the Anaye, who invited him in as they did their previous victims. When they unleashed the beams from their eyes at him Nayanazgeni took shelter behind some of the petrified bodies of the creatures’ victims, returning fire with his lightning-bolt arrows, which the beings evaded or parried with their eye-beams.
At length this running battle took the combatants to the chamber where the Anaye had their fire. Nayanazgeni now took salt from his pouch and as instructed threw it into the fire, causing it to sputter and spatter in all directions, striking the Anaye in their eyes, blinding them and depriving them of their weapons. The war god now shot his writhing foes with his lightning-bolt arrows, killing them, following which he scalped them.
He transformed the slain creatures into Prairie Dogs, which is why those animals have such short legs and why they burrow in the ground. In other versions he transformed them into Screech Owls and Whippoorwills, but that makes less sense. The precious gems and minerals that were the remains of these Anayes’ victims he scattered throughout the world, to be sought out and unearthed over time by greedy people like Those Who Came From The East.
CONTINUED NEXT TIME AS NAYANAZGENI STANDS ALONE AGAINST MORE OF THE ANAYE. FOR THE COMPLETE STORY AS WELL AS MORE DETAILS ON ALL THE OTHER NAVAJO GODS MENTIONED IN THIS EPIC CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/navajo-myth-clear/
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