The Night Guardians
A dark shadow is creeping across the Southwestern desert home of the Navajo. And the evil has a name - - Skinwalker!
The dangerous and unscrupulous leader of the Skinwalkers is a man now known as the Navajo Wolf. He craves money and power and is dedicated to finding the secret to eternal life.
Good also has a name in the Navajo’s land between the four sacred mountains - - the Brotherhood, a band of young medicine men all from the same clan who have vowed to fight the evil ones in a secret war.
Come along with me to a very special place and time. Come along and discover an ancient wisdom. The People call their philosophy "Walking in Beauty." Walk in Beauty and find the truth that lies within.
One of my favorite things about the grand Navajo tradition is that the People are encouraged to embellish on their rich and romantic legends. Each storyteller makes every story one of his very own.
Here is mine.
According to Navajo legend, the original People were two young men who came from the first two women, Changing Woman and White Shell Woman. The two young men went forth into the world killing monsters and were called Monster Slayer and Born of Water. But they decided not to kill monsters who served a purpose, i.e.: (Monster who eats the flesh of the dead - buzzard, Monster Who Brings Old Age - aging and death, Cold Woman - winter and seasons, Poverty Creature, and Hunger Monster)
Another legend says that several monsters escaped. One of those by hiding in a deep cave under a body of water. This monster was greed. Sometime later, Diving Heron dove into the water and brought back greed. He turned the secrets about greed over to a medicine man who quickly learned to control itand could change himself into any animal with extraordinary powers. He was the original Skinwalker.
The first Skinwalker refused to share all of the secrets with others. He gave a few brother medicine men some simple powers, but hid the original parchments that told how to control the evil. One of those hidden secrets was longevity. The first Skinwalker lived for a thousand years. On his deathbed, he told Diving Heron to replace the parchments in the cave so no one would ever find them.
Now, a modern man, calling humself the Navajo Wolf, has found one of the parchments in a cavern under a cliff that can only be reached by water. He has recruited others to be his followers and become Skinwalkers. But the rest of the secrets have yet to be uncovered.
Meet the Night Guardians
Kody Long (Shadow Force) - An FBI Special Agent by day and member of the Brotherhood by night, Kody is the member who has gone the farthest away from tradition. He walks a tenuous line between modernism and traditional Navajo culture. A half-breed whose Anglo father has been dead for many years, Kody tries hard to belong to the group.
Ben Wauneka (Shadow Watch) - Both a modern medical doctor and traditional medicine man ‘crystal gazer’ Ben believes a true return to tradition for all of the Brotherhood is the one thing that might work to rid them of the evil ones. He is known as the ‘heart’ of the Brotherhood.
Hunter Long (Shadow Hunter) - Kody’s younger brother Hunter is a Special Investigator for the Navajo Tribal Police. Though he too is a half-breed, his upbringing was much more traditional than that of his older brother. As a tracker and expert outdoorsman, Hunter is known as the ‘muscle’ of the Brotherhood.
Lucas Tso (Shadow Surrender) - World famous Navajo artesian Lucas Tso is a psychic who can ‘see’ people’s thoughts. He also is the one member of the Brotherhood who can talk to their allies, the Bird People. Lucas is the sensitive soul of the Brotherhood.
Michael Ayze (Shadow Warrior) - A big burly man who is a professor of Anthropology and Comparative Religions at the Dine College, Michael knows more of the curing ‘Sings’ than the others in the group.. His expertise is in research and he’s known as the ‘brain’ of the Brotherhood.
Cisco Santiago (Shadow Whispers) - A Mexican-American stranger to the Navajo reservation, Cisco is not a member of the Brotherhood.
Notes to the Reader
from Linda Conrad
The Navajo call themselves The People. They call their philosophy ‘Walking in Beauty.’ We who respect this ancient wisdom may apply their unique philosophy of emotional balance and resilience to our own wellness and creativity - - and improve our daily lives.
Though created with a deep reverence for the Navajo traditions, this is a fictional series and the applications portrayed are from my imagination.
For all who wish to add to their understanding of The People, here are a few simple terms. Some are traditional spoken usage, while others are defined in Diné Bizaad: Speak, Read, Write Navajo by Irvy W. Goossen (The Salina Bookshelf, Flagstaff, Arizona) 1995
Dine - The Navajo
Dinetah - the land between the four ‘sacred’ mountains where legend says the Dine began and where many of them now live (the ‘four corners’ Big reservation that encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah)
alni - a person who walks the line between traditionalist and modern cultures
anali - grandmother (paternal)
atsili - younger brother
azee’ - medicine
bilagáana - white (as in ‘white man’)
chindi - the dark spirits who come with death
hastiin - mister, the title for a respected clan elder
hataalii - medicine man
hogan - the traditional housing of the Navajo, built in a round design and now mostly used for religious purposes
ya’at’eeh - hello
Yei - the gods of Navajo myths. Holy people who emerged to the earth’s surface through a reed
READ MORE ABOUT IT
My favorite Navajo site!
Welcome to Navajoland!
back to Behind the Book