Big Monster, detail, 1995, Lorraine Black, ET513.E-41
Photo: Kirstin Roper, © NHMU

Big Monster Story

Yéʼiitsoh (Big Monster or, literally, Big Fear) was the leader of all the Naayéé’ (Alien Monsters) terrorizing the Diné (Navajo). He was also the first son of Jóhonaaʼéí (Sun Carrier) and the older brother of the Hero Twins. Big Monster represents the fear that resides within us and, fed by our own thoughts, grows bigger and bigger with destructive consequences. The Twins’ quest to kill Big Monster is a story about conquering this fear within ourselves. The Twins and Big Monster first see each other reflected in a lake on Tsoodził (Mount Taylor), mirrors of each other. When the battle between them begins, Big Monster strikes first as the older, more powerful brother. Sun Carrier then strikes Big Monster with a lightning bolt which allows the Twins’ attack to succeed. Throughout the battle with Big Monster and their larger journey, the Twins receive assistance from many beings, a reminder that we need the help of our community to conquer the destructive tendencies within ourselves.