5 minutes





A Navajo creation story illustrates why humans must forge their own path

In Navajo mythology, the Black God (or Haasch’eezhini) is the god of fire and creator of the constellations. In one Navajo origin story, the Black God is arranging the stars to be a reliable guide for humankind when he’s interrupted by the mischievous Coyote. First, Coyote unleashes a wandering red star into the sky, accounting for the unusual colour and movements of Jupiter. Coyote then spills countless more stars into the air, giving humankind the scattered collection stars we find in the night sky today.

Created by students in Utah Valley University’s animation department in collaboration with members of Navajo Nation, this visually rich reimagining gives the myth a radiant new life. Spotlighting the importance of constellations and animals in Navajo culture, the story also hints at something even more universal to the human experience: in the absence of a prescribed path, we must make our own way through the world.

Director: Dallin Penman

Website: Utah Valley University