The Four Corners

This creative writing project is a culmination of my experiences as a Navajo female. It is about my life growing up and leaving the Navajo reservation. It is about family, stories, songs, prayers, teachings, and Navajo philosophy. The poems and stories in this creative thesis have been influenced by the works of American Indian writers Sherman Alexie, Adrian C. Louis, N. Scott Momaday, Thomas King, James Welch, Ofelia Zepeda, Joy Harjo, Francine Washburn, nila northSun, Luci Tapahonso, Anna Lee Walters, Ester G. Belin, Laura Tohe, and Simon Ortiz. These authors have influenced my work to touch on themes that are central to my own thoughts and perceptions of the world around me and the world where I was raised. Themes such as compassion, generosity, and wisdom are woven amoung the words much in a way that a rug weaver uses colors and patterns to create a Navajo rug.

The organization of the material will follow that of the Navajo worldview of the Four Sacred Mountains and the significance of each as it pertains to the thought process. Navajos feel the Four Sacred Mountains were placed to give the Diné strength and courage. They shield people from harm, evil, and danger. The Four Directions, also known as the Four Holy Winds, are associated with the sacred mountains. The Four Directions are the foundation and spirit of Diné thinking and intelligence. The Four Winds guard the Diné from being exposed to negative thinking. In my work, my sense of place is a very important ingredient because it is where the stories occur; in this case, the Four Corners area which lies within the Four Sacred Mountains. It is a delicate balance that is occurring around me much as the way in which my thoughts are balancing between the modern world and the traditional one.


Martha Dailey


Franci Washburn


College of Social and Behavioral Sciences