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News and Announcements from DODE Admin

Yá’át’ééh t’áá ‘ánółtso shi ke’i’,

Next week on April 8, a total solar eclipse will occur over the southern United States that will also be visible from Window Rock, weather permitting.

While most of the country may be preparing and planning for the optimal viewing locations and the proper eyewear to protect their sight while viewing the eclipse, there are different preparations for the Diné People because an eclipse is treated as more than a visual spectacle. A solar eclipse is a time for reflecting on our history, ourselves, and honoring the sun and moon. An eclipse is revered and respected as opposed to celebrated, for it is a time of renewal.

While we may not have a clear view of the eclipse within the Four Sacred Mountains, however, out of respect, all activity stops during the eclipse. It’s our way to respect the Holy People during the eclipse, along with the atmosphere and the cosmic order. We need to respect the cycle of nature and our atmosphere, and continue to educate younger generations as to why we do so.

According to our Diné cultural beliefs, viewing the eclipse can result in health and spiritual problems. We are instructed not to eat, sleep, or to be out in the sunlight while a solar eclipse is happening. Eating during the eclipse can cause eating disorders, sleeping during the eclipse will create sleep deprivation and watching the eclipse will create eye problems. We are to remain reverent and discourage any activities during the solar eclipse.

It is part of our culture to respect the cycle of life, the path of the sun, as it is the source of all life. As we go through changes in our life, we set a time for ourselves, for self-reflection, a time of peace, uninterrupted tranquility, and reverence, and to show our respect to the sun and the moon.

This is a good teaching lesson for children. We encourage our Diné schools and communities to continue teaching our students about the significance of these beliefs.

For more information on eclipses and the Diné culture, read more on the subject from Diné experts at 

Prepared by staff from the Office of Standards, Curriculum and Assessment Development (OSCAD), Evelyn Bahe, Verna Thomas, & Reada Jones-Claw, as part of the upcoming solar eclipse.

Cody M. Begaye
Senior Public Information Officer