THE PRAYERS & CEREMONIES:
Beauty Way Ceremony
At a very early age in his/her life, a Navajo child is taught that it is wrong to harm another human being. They are prepared for life through a ceremony called the Beauty Way Ceremony (Kinaaldá). It is then that they are given instructions on how to live as a person and what is expected of them. They are blessed with several prayers to live on a path we call the Beauty Way (Utopian way of life).
In order to keep this blessing he has to go through another ceremony to make him/her able to do harm in times of war or when necessary. They have to renew the utopia through the beauty way ceremony after each incident. They usually go through three ceremony to make it possible for them to do battle. One before and two after.
Enemy Way Ceremony
“The two-step and the skip dance songs are derived from the traditions of the ‘Squaw Dance.’ The squaw dance is the centerpiece of an important Navajo ceremony known as the Enemy Way. Used as a rite that exorcises the ghosts of outsiders and pacifies anger and violence, the ceremony was originally performed to protect warriors from spirits of those they killed. Now chiefly a healing ceremonial, the ‘enemy’ is usually a sickness and the rite is performed to bestow curing blessings upon the afflicted person.”
Much of our singing comes from the Enemy Way Ceremony. We also believe that the dancing and singing is meant to restore the innocence that was lost during the battle and everything that occurs in war. As a purification ceremony, it is only then the person is allowed back into the Navajo society. It is feared that if there is no ceremony a person might spread his violent behavior into the Navajo society.