<> Leo Natani at Table Mesa <>

Photographs by Gayle Williamson
Northern Navajo Medical Center

Maternal clan:

Ma'ii deeshgiizhinii, Coyote Pass--Jemez

Paternal clan:

Tsenahabilnii, Sleepy Rock People

Maternal Grandfather:

Tachii'nii, Red Running into the Water Clan

Paternal Grandfather:

Naakaii Dine'e Mexican Clan

Leo Natani takes white corn outside every morning at Table Mesa, where he lives, and facing East he blesses Mother Earth and asks to have a good day. It doesn't stop there. At noon he pulls a deerskin pouch from his pocket, faces South, sprinkles corn pollen, and prays again. In the evening he faces the West, prays and sprinkles yellow corn, and at night he faces the North or Father Sky and prays. He doesn't use the corn at night. He does this because he was born and raised traditionally, in Toadlena.

Leo Natani recently retired from Shiprock Judicial District Court as a Peacemaker Liaison, but was immediately hired as a traditional consultant for Health Promotions at Northern Navajo Medical Center. Anyone who knows Leo, knows of his passion for keeping the Dine Bizaad alive, and even if you don't understand it, he will probably leave you a phone message in the Navajo language. He has been married for 42 years to a weaver, Sarah Natani. In 2000, Leo starred in the Dine video, Horse Song.

Return to Leo and Sarah Natani

February 2003