Published on July 19, 2013 by Casey
An elderly man and woman who are together the joint Navajo deities of “poverty” my reference books always say, but if you read further that doesn’t really seem to be the concept they personify. Like the deities of Old Age, Cold, and Hunger, they seem to be viewed as a necessary state or force. In their case this state or force isn’t so much a lack of means or resources, like you would expect of poverty, but rather something similar to entropy, or ruination, or ”wear and tear”. This is demonstrated in the reason they give the war god Nayanazgeni for why he should not kill them. They tell him that without them people’s clothing, homes, tools, weapons, etc would never wear out and force them to make new things. That is similar to how Dichin, the god of hunger, is viewed as a necessary state in order to spur people to hunt and fish and farm. I simply don’t agree that ”poverty” is the correct term to describe the force this elderly joint deity represents. I feel calling them gods of entropy or wear or even erosion or decay would be more accurate.
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