Four Seasons, detail, 2006, Alicia Nelson, ET513.33
Photo: Kirstin Roper, © NHMU


The Diné (Navajo) year begins with Aak’ee (fall), in October, which marks the "dividing of the seasons." In Hai (winter), the ceremonies are held, games are played, and stories are told. This is the season when animals hibernate, and thus their stories may be told—stories that foster right thinking and the proper way to live. Daan (spring) in March, brings the second half of the year. As Shį́ (summer) comes, so does the rain, and the animals awaken from their winter sleep. Ceremonies to bless the fields in preparation for planting are held in this season. The final month of the year, Bini'anit'ą́ą́tsoh (September), marks the harvest season. Like the changing seasons, Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé (Changing Woman) embodies the earth's powers of rejuvenation. She is able to move freely through life’s cycles of old age, restoration, and renewed youth.