Discovering Secret Areas of the Navajo Nation (with a local)

Apr 15, 2023 1.8M Views 3.3K Comments

Far from the main roads and civilization is a part of the Navajo Nation that feels out of worldly. Here are the age-old stories from the ancestors about skinwalker caves, UFOs, and untouched petroglyphs. Join me and the Navajo locals as we adventure into some of the most stunning and secretive landscapes in the country.

► Watch the Director’s Cut of this video on Patreon

► Video edited by: Natalia Santenello

♪ melodic country ♪
PETER: This is far out.
PETER: Darwin,
we’re getting into it today, yeah?
-Yeah, betcha we are there, Peter.
We’re doing this brother.
This is where my home root is.
This is where I’m from.
This very soil is where my great…
You know, my great-great-grandmother
and them all walked, so…
-We’re gonna see
the ruins of her house today, right?
-And Darwin, though he lives…
This is a good story.
Some of you guys know your story,
some don’t but…
Darwin, who lives on
the Lakota Reservation now, Pine Ridge,
with the Lakota people,
came back for this video
and you grew up speaking Navajo.
Which I find very cool
because you’re a young guy
and I thought those days
were sort of over
but they’re not for you
and many others I guess.
When we greet each other,
I say “Yaá’té’eh Shádaáníh.”
Yaá’té’eh Shádaáníh
-It means welcome my…
-Good morning, my in-law.
-You’re calling me an in-law?
As Navajos, we like to joke about in-laws.
And anybody we came across,
we call them “shádaáníh”.
So from now on, whenever you
cross paths with another Navajo,
you say, “Yaá’té’eh Shádaáníh”
“Hello, my in-law.”
-What do we got here, Darwin?
-This is a hogan, a Navajo Hogan.
-Explain to those that don’t know
what a hogan is.
-It’s an octagon house shape.
Navajos, that’s what we have traditionally.
This was our home long time ago.
Originally hogans were actually made
out of, like, sticks, and logs, and mud.
-Kind of like an earth home but
modern days, we build our hogans like this.
-So do you stay out here in the summer
or what’s going on right now?
-We utilize this with
ceremonial purposes a lot.
So sometimes I bring my family out during
the summertime and we sleep in here, so…
-You sleep on the ground?
You put some mats down?
-Uh, originally that’s how it was
a long time ago
but nowadays, with Angel,
she don’t like the hard ground.
So we have a big old mattress.
-Angel’s your wife?
-Yes, she is.
She’s a Lakota, so…
-Right, the Lakotas don’t do this?
No, only they sleep in teepees.
They did used to on the ground
but with teepees.
But this is a hogan,
so totally different for her.
-This is my family home.
So I wasn’t born here
but I was raised my whole life here.
My dad was one of a relocatee
from a Navajo and Hopi land dispute.
Government screwed a lot of Navajos up
by pushing them off their land.
My dad and his family were part of that.
So the government tried to
re-right their wrong
by giving them a free house.
-So this house was…
-So where was your father before here?
-Just straight across over there.
-But that was a Hopi dispute?
Hopi land dispute?
-Yeah, yeah, that’s what they say
but actually it was the government.
They just called it
the Navajo Hopi land dispute.
-What year was this?
-In 1967.
-But this is a sweet piece of property,
I’d say.
-Yeah, it’s pretty nice.
They gave us at least an acre of land
but this is all of our land.
We all share land here.
We all respect one another.
-It’s open grazing
so there’s cattle everywhere
and sheep all over the place,
you just gotta be careful
at night when you’re on the road.
PETER: All right, Darwin,
your brother here?
PETER: Your name?
PETER: Dustin, your wife back there,
your mother, who is very sweet.
What a nice lady.
She doesn’t want to be on camera.
So she’s back in the kitchen.
-And then what do we have here, Dar?
-This is just a showcase of all the things
that we value in this home.
From ceremony instruments,
to, like, designs, like beadwork,
and my dad’s kachina carving.
My dad was a big time kachina carver.
He was part Hopi.
And we got all this displayed.
And we have one of the very few
Navajo code talker G.I. Joes.
-Oh, wow, that is
a Navajo code talker G.I. Joe.
-That is so cool, so for those
that don’t know, in World War II…
Hey, what’s up, guy?
World War II, the Navajos were used…
Navajo language was used
so the Japanese couldn’t tap into English
and understand what was going on.
This is home.
This is where a Navajo man grew up
pretty much all his life
until I was captured by the Lakotas.
-And you’re Navajo man
for those that don’t know
and your wife, Angel, is Lakota,
and she kidnapped you, right?
She brought you up to Lakota, Pine Ridge?
-I went in… I stepped foot on her rez
and they captured me.
So I never went home.
ANGEL: Navajos love Lakotas.
-Yeah, that’s what she says
but I think Lakotas love Navajos.
PETER: You two love each other.
-Oh, yeah.
PETER: Your mom backed that,
she said you guys love the Lakota.
The Navajos do.
[Angle chuckling]
-But the Crows told me
all the ladies love the Crows.
-Ooh, that’s gonna be something with her.
PETER: Am I stirring up the pot there?
[all laughing]
Okay, I always do.
PETER: What do we need the AR for?
Coyotes and…
-Is that an AR?
-And there’s mountain lions.
-So when you guys go out
into the nature here
you bring an AR or some firearm?
-Just for safety reasons.
They got big mountain lions out here.
There we go.
DARWIN: I kind of forgot some areas
but that’s why we’re bringing
my little brother, Dus.
-So he’s gonna show us.
-And also the private security.
-Yeah, also… Yep, yep.
AKA the mayor of Tees Toh.
-In case we run into trouble.
PETER: In case the Hopis kidnap us.
DARWIN: Yeah, right.
-‘Cause we’re right on the border, right?
-Yeah, so Tees Toh,
that’s where Navajos and Hopis
actually met and traded things.
They were really good
at planting corn and everything
and we were good at silver smithing,
and turquoise, you know like this?
-Oh, yeah.
-So we always got along.
-Saddle Butte?
-Saddle Butte, yep.
Especially when you’re from behind it,
it looks like a saddle.
Also, there’s…
Champion team roper, Derrick Begay…
Those of you that are
big rodeo fanatics, you know?
-Everyone’s last name is Begay, huh?
-It’s a big name.
In Navajo it says Beget
and when we were getting released
from our POW camp from the United States
in Fort Sumter, New Mexico,
they were giving out names.
Saying that, “You guys need names.”
We can’t let you wander around with,
at the time, they called it savage names.
You know, for example,
“Man Who Shoots Deer With An Arrow.”
or something like that.
-Native culture,
we were given names that we did.
That we performed.
Whether in battle or some in daily life.
So that’s how we earned our names.
-What was, say,
your great-grandfather’s name?
Um, my great-great-grandfather,
his name was Ałdółdohné.
Which was “Sharp Shooter.”
-His name was Sharp Shooter?
‘Cause he was good with a long rifle.
-Sort of like Dus?
-Yeah, there you go.
-Yeah, he probably has that
in his blood, right?
I mean he has that in his blood.
He’s always carrying that gun.
He’s actually a sharp shooter.
So he gets it from
my great-great-grandpa’s side.
He was a chief.
He had, like, six wives.
So there’s a lot of our relatives
from all over the Navajo Rez
that we never met.
This cattle guard right here
is the separation between
Navajo land on that side
and Hopi land on this side.
So right…
-Wait, we’re going to Hopi land?
-This right here is the border.
We’re right on the border now.
-Hopi… and our tail end of this truck
is on Navajo land.
-Interesting, any different feelings
when you go to Hopi land or is it…
-No, no, this is…
-It all feels like one?
-Yeah, it’s all one.
Like, this boundary
was actually drawn by the government.
The government separated
the Navajos and Hopis like this.
My dad grew up right over there,
we’ll be driving right by it.
-Oh, right up here?
And everybody else,
all the Navajos were pushed…
Were all relocated, maybe, like,
different parts of the country
or in the big cities, or on
the border towns of the Navajo Nation,
and a lot of them were located
near, like, um, bars.
-Oh, there you go.
-So it’s like…
-It’s for healthy living?
So the government kind of, like,
they knew what they were doing.
And today they found out that
the government pushed them out
only because there was coal, uranium,
and copper all in these areas.
So now they’re mining in those areas.
DARWIN: This is the rez right here, Peter.
-Deep rez.
-This is deep rez.
-There’s rez and then
there’s deep rez, right?
-The rez most people see…
Maybe that main road that I came in on.
-You gonna get us stuck, Dar?
-Probably not.
-The rental car companies love me.
-If the spirits allow us
then we won’t get stuck, Peter.
We’ll be all right.
-You gonna get that, Dar?
-Oh, nice.
-This is the rez, man.
-This video is sponsored by
Budget Rental Cars.
[all laughing]
Where the vehicle has no limits.
♪ melodic country ♪
-Still got my driving skills
even though I’m from South Dakota now.
PETER: When we’re in deep rez like this,
maybe you misguide us, Dar,
and put us in a hole.
No cell phone coverage
or do you have some cell phone coverage?
DUSTIN: No, none.
-So we just walk out of here
for the next day or so?
-All right.
[music continues]
-Is that it over there?
DARWIN: Okay, yep.
Where the road ends
is where the skinwalker caves begin.
[music fades]
[snow crunching]
PETER: So how much do
the spirits dictate your life,
or how much do you feel the spirits
are involved with your daily life?
-Um, you know, it’s every day.
Navajos have a lot of taboos
that we can and can’t do.
For example, we’re going up
to the skinwalker cave.
We’re just gonna go only so far.
We can’t go in ’cause if we go in
we’re gonna be bringing
something back home with us.
A spirit’s gonna be attached to us…
and bad spirits, you know?
Back in the 1800s, back in the old days,
we used to use this as a tool,
as a weapon in battle or hunting.
We would fight the enemies
by shape shifting.
-Our shapeshifters.
They say that skinwalkers shapeshift
utilizing their spirit.
So they would just go out,
their body stays, but their spirit leaves.
And they would go out
and go hunting or go kill an enemy.
Then as years came, um…
Our own people got jealous of each other.
Jealousy divided the tribe,
the people, and so that…
-The Navajo?
So that way of life,
they started using it against each other.
It’s a bad omen now.
We don’t utilize it.
We don’t practice it,
but there are some people
that utilize it in that way.
So that cave that we’re going up to…
-It’s a gathering, I’m not sure
if it still is but that was a gathering
of where skinwalkers would meet up
and conduct a ceremony.
They utilize a dead animal carcass
like a deer, coyote.
They drape it over themselves
and whatever they are wearing,
their spirit takes off as that.
So that cave right there is actually
one of the darkest caves around here.
We don’t go… We don’t go in it.
We can take you to it.
That’s why for our protection
he has his AR-15.
-Yeah, but the AR-15
does nothing with spirits.
-No, but he puts ashes on it.
-What do you mean?
-Ash, in Navajo tradition..
When we conduct ceremonies
we use ashes on ourselves.
A bullet alone won’t shoot a spirit.
So an ash on the bullet…
[rubs hands together]
…will actually penetrate a spirit.
-[Peter amazed] Oh…
but spirits you can’t see.
-No, you can’t
but something might come out.
Like maybe a coyote…
Something… a mountain lion.
-Okay, so come out
in an actual mammal or whatnot?
-Yeah, there’s probably
something in there right now, I’m not sure.
So for our protection…
-Well, I don’t know if it’s just
I’m in the moment
but it does feel pretty heavy
and intense up here.
It has that dark…
That dark energy.
-Darkness, yeah.
-Yeah, I don’t know what’s…
Now that caves goes…
-What’s Dust doing
with the hands over the soil?
PETER: Somebody’s foot tracks?
DARWIN: So now that he says that
it’s gotta be active.
This cave is pretty active still.
-So you guys are okay
with going up this far?
DARWIN: We can go a little bit more
as long as we don’t go in.
I don’t know how this cave originated
but we just…
We were growing up,
told stories about this.
-So your elders would teach you
stories about this cave?
Kind of like,
“Stay away from it.”
-Okay, you didn’t listen too well.
-Yeah, no… Obviously we’re going but…
As long as we don’t go in, you know?
-Oh wow, it goes deep in there, huh?
-It’s deep in there.
DARWIN: My dad actually had
white buddies from Phoenix
way back in the day
in their party days.
He brought them up here, they actually
went as far as they could and they said
the wind’s so strong in there
that they only went in with, like, lighters
it kept blowing it out, they kept…
They had flashlights
and their batteries died.
Like, there’s something in there
that doesn’t want them to see.
You know, like, there’s a spirit in there
that’s not allowing anybody
who’s not affiliated with that ceremony
to see anything.
DUSTIN: There’s Anasazi here.
DARWIN: Oh yeah, there’s even…
Look at that.
PETER: What is this?
DARWIN: Pottery, Anasazi pottery.
-Can I touch it?
-Don’t touch it?
-It’s a bad omen.
-There’s bad spirits.
-Glad I asked.
DARWIN: Anything…
PETER: Why does Anasazi pottery
have bad spirits?
Those were dark times back then.
-They were living…
They lived a tough, rough life…
Sometimes the spirits are still lingering,
and out of respect…
Everything is about respect around here.
-There might be drawings on the walls,
we don’t desecrate it.
-‘Cause those are ancestors.
These are our ancestors.
They’ve been through a long hard battle
before we all showed up.
So there was a fence line that went around
and they tried to keep people away from it.
A lot of people were hurt from it.
-Hurt from it? How?
-By the bad spirits.
Those who participate in these ceremonies,
they don’t have a heart, man.
Like, for them to learn something
in this ceremony,
they have to sacrifice a loved one.
Now I’m not talking about, like,
hog-tying them to the table
and draining their blood.
What I mean by sacrificing a loved one is
for them to gain more experience
for that certain ceremony,
they’re gonna have to give up
maybe their son or somebody
to gain that power.
That son or daughter,
somebody is going to pass away.
Maybe in a car accident, heart attack,
something, and it’ll look naturally.
-That still goes on?
And like I said, like, you gotta have
no heart to do that kind of ceremony.
-But is that common?
-It’s pretty damn common.
There are people that we know
that actually done that… done this.
And it’s like, “Why would you
sacrifice your own loved one?”
Like, it doesn’t have to be your
daughter or your son.
It could be someone really dear to you,
a spouse.
You’re giving up their life so you gain
their life and you gain another power.
Like, you know,
it makes their medicine bundle stronger.
-What do you mean?
-Like, if they want…
The more lives they take…
They’re collecting their spirit
within their bundle.
I don’t know what kind of bundle they have.
-And the more…
The more lives they take…
..and their ceremony will go,
like, the way they planned it.
They want to go out and hurt somebody
that lives right across,
it’s gonna happen right away.
Sadly, there are people our age, his age,
that still practice it.
-Really, Dus?
DARWIN: Even younger, like…
PETER: It just comes
from their parents, right?
-There are people that will take
their kids into these kind of ceremonies
that are newborns, or, like, still…
I mean not newborns but still growing.
They instill it within their mind.
So, you know, when they get older…
-So then there’s no way out for those kids.
Unless there’s some big intervention
of some sort when they get older?
-Unless they’re smart enough to know
what’s right and what’s wrong.
-So with any community
anywhere in the world
there’s always good and evil.
In each person
there’s good and evil, right?
-The point of life is
to bring your good out and not your evil.
-And for those that do the opposite
it’s maybe a subset, 5%, or 10%,
or who knows?
-But it’s obviously not everybody
or the majority.
-There’s good medicine men
and there’s bad medicine men.
The bad medicine men,
they conduct it in dark places.
Out here, look, exactly where we’re at.
There’s nobody,
so they’re in there late at night.
They only conduct it at night.
-So when someone says
they’re a medicine man,
that could be the best thing
or the worst thing?
Like you said, you can feel the vibe, man.
Like, that energy here.
-Yeah, and I don’t know if
I’m just caught up in the moment
’cause I’m not from here
and your guy’s stories
definitely, like, elevate my feeling.
-But how I do feel standing here right now
is that’s intense
and you couldn’t pay me any amount
of money to go up in that right now.
-Uh… [laughs uncomfortably]
-Me neither, man, I would not…
DUSTIN: What is that?
PETER: Some bones.
DUSTIN: I think it is.
DARWIN: Oh, look at that.
There’s some bones right there.
DARWIN: Now these are stories
that we grew up with.
These are stories that were taught to us
from our great-great-grandmas
and our grandmas, and our…
-[Peter gasps]
-So, you know, somebody else
from the other side of the reservation
in New Mexico might have a different…
-Like if they’re over in
the town of Shiprock or something
they might feel differently?
-Yeah, yeah, totally different.
-Which is hard for people to understand
how big the Navajo Nation is.
Like Shiprock, New Mexico, is what?
Four hours from here?
DARWIN: Back in the day,
a lot of our elders
were very strict on telling stories
about our history, our past,
and nowadays, a lot of them are gone
and they’ve tooken a lot of that stuff,
stories and teachings to the grave
and they can’t share it anymore.
So a lot of our younger generations
are growing up not knowing these stories
and so what we try to emphasize
on our channel is
that it’s good to know these stories.
You learn from it, you know?
We want to…
Our younger generations to carry it on.
Because after us,
who’s gonna be carrying it, you know?
So guys, Darwin has his own channel too.
I’m gonna leave that link at the end
or in the description here.
Definitely check out what he does
because like the story
of where you grew up.
That one video,
I’ve watched it a couple times.
I absolutely love it ’cause you have
an amazing ability to tell story
and like you’re saying,
these stories are, in a way, going extinct.
-And unless somebody knows you,
well, the next best thing is a YouTube video
where they’re being preserved,
let’s say, on YouTube
for generations hopefully, right?
-And so you’ve worked hard at it thought.
It takes a lot of work doesn’t it?
Because you speak Navajo.
-It’s easy to get consumed
in the modern world, right?
Like, you use a GoPro,
you have a YouTube channel,
you’re a modern guy.
-You have a good job.
You’re a firefighter, right?
-I have to balance the traditional way,
and the modern day, and it’s hard.
It’s hard, and on top of that
I have to teach my kids now, my twins,
about their way,
about their side of their culture.
-And you have to teach them the language?
-The language too.
-‘Cause that’s the only way
it’s gonna live is if
parents make an emphasis,
a priority, right?
-So it’s our responsibility, me,
and their mom, and everybody else.
It’s everybody’s responsibility
to keep it going.
To keep that wheel going.
Otherwise we’re going to…
We’re going to be extinct.
We’re gonna be Natives here
but without our language.
Without your language,
who are you? You know?
-Without your stories?
-Without our stories.
We have to know who we are,
where we come from.
This is a war hatchet.
-War hatchet?
-Yeah, look at that.
Ancient hatchet,
that was a war hatchet, long time ago.
Ancestors are on our side today.
-[Peter chuckling]
-The ancestors are giving us a gift.
-You giving me sh*t now?
-Playing with me?
-That could be yours, man.
You can take it back.
-The hatchet from Home Depot?
-It’s at least three years old.
I can’t believe you touched it.
You’re bringing back bad spirits, guys.
PETER: So what’s the story
of a house like this?
DARWIN: It’s gotta be a family.
So if you see a house like this
and you see houses right next to it
it’s gotta be, like,
they have ties to these lands.
You can tell…
-So that was a settler’s home
or a Native home?
-No, that was their home, a family’s home.
Back in the day.
-There’s no electricity.
They live without electricity.
-What are they using,
kerosine lamps or something?
-Kerosene lamps, wood stove.
You see the telephone wires
out there in the distance?
They’re connected to homes
but you don’t see any over here.
So they got no electricity.
So they might have solar panel,
I don’t know.
-So why would someone choose
to live out this far?
‘Cause that’s the land they always have?
Like, wouldn’t they want to
go in closer to town?
Wouldn’t it be easier or why…
Walk me through that.
-It’s a different story
if you have ties to this land.
Like these guys, obviously…
Look at that old house.
Did you see beside them?
-They have ties, like, their ancestors
lived here in this area for years.
There’s a connection there.
-They’re rooted?
-They’re deep rooted.
PETER: Do you think there
are people out here on the rez
that don’t even know who the president is?
-Oh yeah, they don’t know.
-My grandpa doesn’t even know who he is.
-Doesn’t know who Joe Biden is?
I was actually going to talk to him today
but he’s in his…
He has a doctor’s appointment today.
I was gonna introduce you to him.
-[Peter disappointed] Oh.
But he doesn’t know
the President of the United States?
-No, I was gonna introduce you to him
and I was gonna say,
“This is the President of the United States
he’s here for a visit.”
but that woulda been a good one.
-Does he consider himself living in America
or doesn’t think of it
that way at all either?
-Doesn’t think of it at all.
I don’t even vote for
the United States President myself.
-Why is that?
-I don’t know, like, everyone says
our vote counts but…
Really, everybody in the White House
don’t care about the Native Americans.
We don’t… They don’t care about us.
-Well, to be fair, I don’t think they care
about any of the normal people…
…anywhere in the country.
DARWIN: So that butte we’re going to
is right over here.
Not these big ones, that would be a hike.
The butte we’re going to
is right up around that knob there.
PETER: So how are people
with private property?
Like when you’re back here?
Do they get pissed
if you drive by their place?
-They will but I mean it’ll…
It’s kind of like 50/50, they’re like,
as long as we don’t bother their place
and drive right by.
Should I go up on top right here?
PETER: So if we were deep rez before, Dar,
we’re now deep, deep rez.
-Yeah, this is deep, deep.
-Is this as deep as it goes?
-No electricity at this house.
I don’t even think that there’s a road
that goes out from here.
I don’t think anybody lives here right now.
-Yeah, he’s got all his windows covered.
-This is the Wild West, man.
Straight across is Hopi land.
-Straight up there?
-Yep, that’s Second Mesa, First Mesa.
-Oh, yeah, Second Mesa,
did a video up there.
DARWIN: All right,
it’s quite a ways to get up there.
PETER: Okay, so we’ve done skinwalkers.
So I know this is something different.
This is something totally different.
We’re giving you the full tour, Peter.
PETER: All right.
DARWIN: Dude, and this is all
within our home, like where we live.
So everything we’re showing you guys
is, like, literally not even, like, what?
A five mile radius.
Ten mile radius?
-This is your playground that’s, like,
the size of a small European country.
We herd sheeps all over this place.
My dad actually grew up right over yonder.
It’s called Finger Point, Arizona.
So a lot of these rocks,
they collapsed because of time.
Time consumed them.
But wait ’til we get closer.
[Peter exhales deeply]
DARWIN: Some people grafitti’d it.
I hope not.
Can you zoom up on that?
I don’t have a zoom
but I can try to get closer in the edit.
Oh, okay, I see what you’re going at there.
Okay, yeah.
What is that?
-Anasazi drawing.
[all breathing heavily]
DARWIN: Either… I don’t know,
these are kind of like journals
back in the day.
These were here prehistoric times.
They stretched as far as
Oklahoma and Colorado.
If all the snow on the ground wasn’t here
we’d be seeing potteries everywhere.
Anasazi potteries.
PETER: Is this a sacred Anasazi site?
Everywhere’s sacred, but yeah,
this is one of them.
Somebody spray painted that.
Don’t get that part, somebody did that.
-Somebody spray painted, okay.
-It looks like it… A horse.
-That’s too bad.
-Yeah, if you’re up here, like I said,
some people don’t have respect.
DUSTIN: This used to be really clear,
I remember that.
DARWIN: Oh, right here, look.
There are a bunch of these right here.
-Oh, wow, that is so cool.
-Look at right here.
So these are like dinosaur drawings.
-You see them?
These are prehistoric times.
[Peter whispers] Oh, wow.
-And all the way over here too,
you got Anasazi drawings.
Now these are like stories
that the Anasazis would tell
for like, the next coming people
who were coming in the area.
That know this area.
Kind of like a journal.
-You don’t know any of these stories?
-No, there’s…
Out of respect for
the Hopis, the Pueblo Zunis…
I’m not gonna translate it or anything, so…
PETER: So I’m just gonna try
to capture this, guys.
When we’re not talking
or stepping in the snow
it’s absolute silence.
You don’t hear anything out here.
All right, let’s give it a go, 10 seconds.
PETER: I mean how many places
in the world do you get that?
-Yeah, it’s very peaceful.
I love it out here, this is home, man.
-You gonna move back from Pine Ridge,
from Lakota?
-Some day, some day.
We’re gonna move the twindians
out here, they’re gonna be
climbing up and down these mountains.
-The twindians, that being your twins?
-Yep, the twins.
-[Peter whispers] Look at that.
-This is nice and peaceful.
-Right there… There.
That lightning bolt right here
was original.
-You can see the…
What is this? A sheep?
-Yeah, then look at the lightning bolt.
-Then you see tracks over here.
Looks like deer tracks, like, I don’t know.
It’s so cool just to be around.
-This is real, these are real right here.
-I don’t know what that is, look at that.
Maybe somebody ate a lot.
Some kind of buffet.
Tracks right here.
There’s that one, like,
little swirly thing again.
DARWIN: Probably will be a lot more faster.
If we go this way, have to go all the way.
DUSTIN: Here, climb over.
PETER: Climb over?
DARWIN: We can climb over.
Yeah, ’cause it’s flat on top.
-So what’s over there on the other side?
-It’s, like, about the same size
as this rock here.
and down at the bottom it has,
like, pictures of all the land animals,
and, like, whatever,
like, dinosaurs and stuff they had,
and human beings,
and, like, in the middle of the rock,
it had, like, a UFO ship.
Yeah, it was like a diamond, like that
and it was light beaming down.
And then it had, like…
Then they, like,
engraved stars into the top.
Like sky.
-And it looks like a UFO?
-Looked like UFOs, like, something.
-It’s over here somewhere?
-Yeah, it’s right around…
We’ll probably jump over.
Get up on top and go over there too.
-All right.
Get there quicker.
Hopefully it’s still there.
DARWIN: There’s a lot to talk about, Peter.
-[Peter chuckles] I’m all ears, man.
-I wanted to show you
and do a lot of things here but
I don’t want time to get too late on us.
We can climb this one.
-You’re sure?
-Why not?
-No, I think we can climb up right here.
It’s a lot easier.
If there’s a mountain lion
that jumps out at you, you got your gun?
-I don’t want a mountain lion
to jump up on…
-So are you trying to bring up the…
The fear factor
or are there actually serious…
A lot of mountain lions living out here?
-There’s mountain lions.
DUSTIN: Lions and bobcats.
DARWIN: Bobcats.
-Bobcats, do they ever attack?
DARWIN: Not that I’ve heard of
but they could, you know what I mean?
DARWIN: Now we’re on top.
Oh, man.
‘Member, Dustin?
So right up there, it’s gone.
I mean it’s kind of…
Time kind of consumed it.
But right up there…
There was like an Anasazi
kind of style, but it’s…
It’s, uh, like, uh, Mayan Calendar.
DUSTIN: Oh, yeah.
-Right up there,
I forgot to tell you about that.
PETER: So the pottery’s everywhere?
DARWIN: Everywhere.
PETER: So… Some archeologist
comes up here and you’re like…
“Thanks, but no, thanks.
Can you please go home?”
-Is that the story?
We don’t want them around here.
They’re gonna take too much.
And disturb our ancestors.
-You don’t want to see that in a museum?
And I’m sure the Pueblos
and Hopis wouldn’t.
You know what I mean?
Like, this is ancient,
these are our ancestors.
That’s their ancestors and…
Even though they were
their ancestors we…
As Navajos we…
gonna defend it.
This is home for all of us.
-I totally get it.
If someone came into where I lived
and took something from the land
that meant something to me.
I wouldn’t be too happy about it.
-I’m sure if somebody
came to your neighbor’s home
and took something from them.
You would try to defend them.
You know, that’s their property so…
That’s the same way as us,
Apaches, and Hopis,
and Pueblos and Zunis.
DARWIN: What was it, Dustin?
DUSTIN: I’m just trying to look for it.
DARWIN: It was right here in this area.
Like I said, see,
a lot of this stuff just decayed.
-I don’t know if it’s on this rock.
It looks like it was, huh Dus?
DUSTIN: Yeah, it was something
similar to this, right?
DARWIN: Want me to jump down there
real quick and go check it out?
DARWIN: I’ll be right back down.
Where at?
DUSTIN: Over there.
-Okay, let me go over there.
Let me go check it out real quick,
I’ll go scout it out
before everybody comes down.
DARWIN: Can you see anything on that side?
DUSTIN: Uh… Hey, whose dogs?
DARWIN: Where?
DUSTIN: Right here.
PETER: We got some rez dogs?
PETER: Are these guys dangerous or no?
DUSTIN: No, don’t look like it.
[Dustin whistles]
PETER: They’re friendly rez dogs?
DUSTIN: Yeah, I don’t
see anything over here, Dar.
DARWIN: Peter, it might’ve…
It might’ve collapsed.
-Just crumbled up?
The space ship crumbled up?
DARWIN: Whose dog is that?
DUSTIN: I don’t know.
DARWIN: If we see anybody coming
we’ll just stop recording
and tell we’re just taking the in-law out.
-Little walk in the park.
-Yeah, it does crumble easily, huh?
That just chipped right away.
This part’s gonna be kind of hard
to climb up so grab a good rock.
-Just as long as you get to that boulder
you’re good on top
PETER: All right, Dar.
Show us the way.
-Here we go.
-Fearless leader.
[heavy breathing and grunting]
Moral of the story is don’t fall?
Watch your step.
-Going down looks sketchy, Dar.
-Yeah. Sure is.
-Do you believe in UFOs?
-I’m undecided, I have no way
to prove or disprove, so I just don’t know.
-The reason why I ask is at night,
not every night, but some nights
you see lights on top of these buttes.
Like, bright, bright lights
and sometimes you just see them
zoom out and it’s like…
What is that? You know?
Like, you only see it for a split second
or sometimes they’re, like, hovering.
Bright… Just the brightest lights, man.
Like the sun’s out.
-Okay, and let me ask you this,
are you close to military bases here?
Pretty close, right?
-We live underneath a fly zone.
If you look at the military fly zone,
the map…
We live… Like, where we live,
literally every…
Like sky trails everywhere above our house
and every so often they’ll do, like,
military operations during the daytime
with helicopters, like, Blackhawks.
-On the res?
-On the res, yeah.
-So do most people here on the res
believe in UFOs
are coming down to these mesas?
-It’s like a 50/50.
-Depends, huh?
-Yeah, depends.
-You guys definitely do?
-We definitely do.
I do at least.
‘Cause, like, I mean…
Now, like, I’ll be up
about 2:00, 3:00 in the morning,
and something would be
hovering above these buttes.
Bright, like there’s no flashing lights.
It’s just so bright lights,
and all of a sudden it’s, like,
out of the picture.
It’s like, “What the hell was that?”
you know?
PETER: So the Mayan calendar’s
up here somewhere?
I don’t know how it ended up way up here.
PETER: You see anything?
It might have went with time there, Peter.
-When’s the last time you saw it?
-When I used to live down here.
Probably about 21, 22 years old.
-So you think it could be buried
under this dirt?
-Could be.
-Yeah ’cause you can see
this dirt sort of blows in.
-That’s all right.
-I can’t find it.
I don’t want to consume too much time.
-Yeah, no, we can go.
-We still got quite a ways to go.
We gotta get some gas for your war pony.
We’re on, like, one leg right now.
We’re living on a prayer, Peter.
-All right, guys,
we didn’t find the calendar
but those were
very cool petroglyphs, you guys.
-There’s a lot more.
-And just being out here is amazing.
DUSTIN: Did you show him the hand one?
PETER: The hand one?
DUSTIN: Yeah, it’s right here.
DARWIN: Yeah, let’s just go down there.
It’s a less… Less more rockier.
-So cool out here, guys.
It’s just big open spaces
in every direction.
With some dogs that found us.
What’s up?
What’s up?
No, no jumping on me here.
Look at these dogs,
this is their playground.
Such clean air out here.
DARWIN: We got a family over here
of Anasazis.
A family portrait.
DARWIN: We got a whole tribe
of Anasazis right here.
Look closely.
-Oh yeah.
-Zoom up.
We got everybody,
the whole tribe was here at one point.
We got all their feet and their handprints.
-I hope the GoPro can pick it up.
So they just carved out their hands?
-Yeah, and right over here too.
-You see too?
-Oh, yeah.
-Perfect, that’s a whole family.
-Oh, wow.
-Whatever family was coming through,
they definitely put their print in here.
DARWIN: And you want to know why
there’s pottery everywhere?
Let me show you something cool.
Tell me how that feels.
That’s clay, this is clay.
-Oh, right.
It’s just clay right out of the dirt.
-Clay, so you can make a pottery out of it.
And it’s already colored.
Then you just get some white…
Paint it in there
or they dye it with their…
with these plants around here.
-And then you just fire it over the oven?
-Over a fire.
You can start a fire there.
There, that could be our oven
and turn this into a pottery,
and eventually it’ll turn into a pottery.
Like, I mean, this is probably crap,
but, you know, you could make
a cup or something out of it.
-Yeah, this is very sticky.
-I’ve done it before.
[gas pump clacking]
DARWIN: You’re in Navajo country.
Dilkon, Arizona is where we’re at.
-Dilkon has a brand new hospital?
Is that what that is?
-Yeah, this is kind of like
the halfway point for a lot of communities
that live within the interior
of the reservation.
We got a grocery store, a Bashas’,
got a laundromat, Pizza Edge.
Look at that rez truck.
You look like you’re
originally from Tees Toh now.
PETER: So this is like a Dilkon suburb?
-Fair to say?
-Okay, how does that work
with the housing here?
‘Cause every rez seems to be different.
Is that free housing for people?
They’re paying rent?
-Um, they’re paying…
It’s more rent, right Dustin?
DUSTIN: Uh, yeah.
-It’s more of a rent home.
-But that’s owned by
the Bureau of Indian Affairs?
-Yep, BIA housing.
-Which is basically
federal government, right?
PETER: Are there any gangs out here?
PETER: Like when you see graffiti,
is anyone tagging turf or is that not…
-There was a long time ago
but I don’t think there is nowadays.
DARWIN: It’s just like any old rez,
they like to tag now and then
but gangs kind of came and gone, that era.
PETER: What’s the drug situation out here?
I know it depends on every rez
and every area.
-Yeah, so it’s just like you said.
Like, it depends on…
There is drugs like meth
and it’s everywhere, man.
It’s in our own community,
it’s in this community.
Every community has it on this rez.
This is the police department here.
This is the holding cell.
They’re, like, in trailers.
If it gets too full they transport
all the inmates to Window Rock.
Which is the rez capital…
of the reservation.
Window Rock Jail.
So this is where they book them.
The drunk tank on one side
and the other is just like a holding cell.
Then over here is the court house.
Fitness center is over there.
-Fitness center?
-You can work out, take a shower there.
-For the prisoners or…
-No, for us, for the community.
-That’s your fitness center? Okay, cool.
-And then this gym right here, NCF gym,
that’s a church place,
but it was also donated by
Alice Cooper and his wife.
-No way.
-They donated that whole building
and they would perform live music there.
-Alice Cooper would come here?
-Alice Cooper, yep.
He’s from Phoenix.
Then he would come up here,
he’s well-known to the Navajo people.
So whenever he comes up here
the Navajos gift him with
jewelerys like this and Navajo rugs.
Over here is the hospital,
then straight across, they’re still…
They’re still working on it.
It’s the doctors and the nurses
are gonna be living in there.
So I think when this is completed
they’re gonna open up the hospital.
-Okay, so things are on the up in Dilkon?
Fair to say?
Like there’s new development.
It doesn’t feel like it’s decaying.
-Feels like it’s building.
Off in the distance
you got some nice homes.
-It’s growing.
Yeah, it’s definitely growing
compared to how it was back then.
[car doors open and close]
DARWIN: So this is
Cedar Springs Trading Post.
So the history behind it is…
1910, early 1900s,
the owner of the trading post
actually got shot and killed
by two Navajo brothers.
I guess back then they were…
The tensions were still high between
the Navajos and the bilagáanas,
the white men.
-This was a bilagáana place?
-Yeah, the owner was a white guy.
They pretty much robbed him clean.
-Took off…
…and they say his spirit’s still in here.
There’s talks that his ghost is still…
The story goes they shot him once
in the gut then he bled out on the floor
and along came another Navajo family
trying to, you know,
grab something for their…
Grab some supplies from here.
-And here, they opened the door,
they found the owner
bleeding out on the ground and…
PETER: That’s cool,
it’s like a painting here.
Looking out the window like that.
DARWIN: This is Seba Dalkai school.
Right there, the sign, boarding school.
Everything is Hogan design-built now.
If you see, every building is hogan.
So you actually use the hogan
at school now?
-You were telling me in the car
when you were here going to school
it was something totally different.
It was an actual boarding school?
-Yeah, it was an actual…
A boarding school.
Like, they had everybody…
Um… I mean, it wasn’t…
Like I said,
it wasn’t that harsh of a boarding school
back when I was in there
but it was more like, uh…
They kind of had that instilled, you know?
Like, they would, Tuesdays and Thursdays
we were required to take showers
on Thursdays and Fridays and we were
required to do certain activities and…
There’s other boarding schools
that were harsh, you know?
Where they beat the Indians…
and I mean, that was back in the day.
-But now it’s just like…
I think they’re embracing more of the
Navajo, you know, culture.
The language here now and…
-Do they teach the language here?
-They do now, yeah.
-It looks like things have gotten better
from the outside.
If I look at that hospital
that’s being built…
-…the grocery store, the school.
Or is that just a facade?
It’s just structures?
It’s not culture or, like,
what are your thoughts on that?
No, they’re actually thriving, man.
It’s actually, slowly but surely,
it’s taken years
but they’re definitely getting there.
♪ melodic country ♪
PETER: This dog doesn’t bite?
DARWIN: No, no, these are sheep dogs.
PETER: All right,
you wanted to finish up on this.
This is a very important site for you guys?
This is one of our
great-great-grandmother’s home.
Grandma’s home here.
If you can look closely,
there’s hogan-like around here.
The way it was built, the hogan, octagon.
-Okay, yeah.
-We still consider it a home for her.
There’s a coffee pot there
that’s been there for years
and I tell people that and they’re amazed.
So it’s one of the oldest souvenirs
that still exists around her area.
She was alone at the time I believe.
Um, one of our great-great-grandpas,
he was a chief.
His name was Ałdółdohné.
He was a sharp shooter.
So he’s buried at that mountain
they call Montezuma Chair.
-Okay, that big plateau? Okay.
-That big square, yep, that one.
If you look around
you can see where she was located.
At that time, 1800s, there was soldiers
and enemies were lurking around,
and this is where she planted herself.
-So this was a strategic place so she could
see what was going on in that valley?
-And then that valley?
So the story goes, there’s
a lot of people with transport from…
Through those…
If you guys can see the mountain
that kind of, like, intervenes together.
-That was kind of like
a passage through that way.
So there was, like,
wagons coming and going.
Soldiers coming and going.
-Wagons were coming and going here?
With cavalry.
Cavalry during the 1860s.
When they did the Navajo long walk.
They were gathering up all the Navajos
and so she was on her toes.
So, you know, this is where she was planted
and she could see.
She had the higher vantage point
and she could see everything and everybody.
Who was coming and who was going, so…
-But they didn’t take her?
-They didn’t take her, nope.
-Why not do you think?
-She hid. She hid very well.
And I mean there was some
other relatives of ours,
they did go on that long walk but she was,
like, one of the few who did not go.
-She hid in the house
or she hid somewhere else in the desert?
-No, she hid up in the mountains, you know?
There was other places.
Like, this wasn’t just their only place.
They had other multiple spots.
For example, she probably hid
up there in the mountain tops
’cause the soldiers
couldn’t find everybody, you know?
They couldn’t round up everybody
but they couldn’t…
You know, they only searched
only so much and then they would give up.
There’s a site right across…
Um, I don’t know
if we should go there, Peter.
Do you think so?
There’s a burial site
just right straight across.
-Yeah, I mean is it okay
if I put that on camera?
-Yeah, I already did so…
-All right.
-Yeah, so there’s a lot of family
that is buried over there
and they’re hidden very well
from the soldiers and grave robbers.
[truck tires on dirt road]
[dog barking]
[footsteps in snow]
DARWIN: So this is a sweat lodge.
In Navajo we call it “tacheeh”.
One of the many sweat lodges we have
that’s been in our family
for generations and generations.
PETER: So how would you…
It was, like, dug out?
-So how it originally was, was…
It became like a rat’s nest now
but all that would be gone
and it would be in the dirt.
It would be in the earth.
-So you would go down there?
It would be like a kiva.
You know what a kiva is?
-You go in there,
and you sit around in there,
and everything, all these cracks
would be filled with mud.
So it would look like a little mud house.
Then those rocks here from my ancestors,
they were probably…
You know they probably sweat in them.
They heat up the rocks right here.
They have somebody bring it in
and then they sweat.
-Do you do sweat lodge ever?
-Yeah, all the time.
-What do you get out of it?
-Uh, it’s more of a cleansing ceremony.
Actually a warrior ceremony as well.
Warriors who went to battle
would participate in those ceremonies.
When they go to battle…
They end up taking life.
They taking… They kill somebody.
-And when they come home,
they come home with PTSD,
and we believe that the person they killed,
their spirit still lingers onto them,
and then they have these dreams,
these PTSD dreams.
So a sweat lodge,
that chases that spirit away.
We send it home.
-So especially when the wars happen,
like during the Iraqi war and all that…
-A lot of the soldiers that came back
from Afghanistan and Iraq,
that helped them out.
-A lot of people don’t know that too,
that many Natives are in the military.
-Yeah, yeah, we have a high percentage
of us are in the military.
DARWIN: This is one of our
ancestral burial sites of our family.
We have deep ties to these lands
and a lot of our ancestors
are buried amongst these lands
and if you look closely,
there’s one here,
there’s one there by the truck,
and there’s quite a few more up there.
PETER: So just these piles of rock?
DARWIN: Yeah, they’re…
-So you don’t know who this is?
-Back then, those were dark times,
and whenever a family would die,
we would hide them, you know?
We would tuck them away somewhere
where they can’t be seen.
Because after the soldiers
rounded all of us up for Fort Sumter…
They had grave robbers.
The settlers from border towns
would come in on their, what is it?
Horses and wagons.
And if they find an Indian burial ground,
re-dig them back up
and sell their bones
to a trading post for change.
-What were they getting out of the bones?
-But why would someone want bones?
-That’s just how it was back then.
Like, there would be signs.
There’s old pictures out there
that have signs that say,
“Indian scalps, Indian bones.”
Anything that belonged
to an Indian was, like…
They would buy it for you.
From a certain individual.
-So that’s why a lot of these are unmarked
and they were tucked up here in the canyon.
-And your family’s home
is just right down here.
You can see it in the distance.
-Yep, and then the soldiers
would come right down there,
but when they look up here
they can’t see nothing.
See how this is hidden behind the tree?
And this landscape is so vast
-I mean we’re looking at,
In the far reaches of our vision
that would be if there’s a direct road,
like an hour and a half drive
or something, right?
It’s forever out there.
-Darwin, you’re a legend, thank you.
Appreciate it.
-Ahéhee’. Thank you.
-A lot of stories.
I know it’s not normal to bring an outsider
in with a camera
and I think it’s ’cause
we did that first video, right?
Like, you were like,
“Okay, we can go next level.”
-Because this is deep rez.
This isn’t on the main road rez, guys.
This is…
-We’re off the grid.
-We had a very unique tour today.
I think that very few from the outside see.
So really appreciate that.
-Respect to you.
-Thank you.
-And guys,
Darwin has a channel also with his wife.
I’m gonna leave that down below.
I’ll leave the icon up here,
you can click on it.
And Dustin also has a channel.
The name of it?
-Tees Toh Vlogs.
-Okay, Tees Toh Vlogs,
and that’s just about the area here, right?
I’ll leave that down below
and up above here also, guys.
Anything else?
-Thank you for tuning in there, Peter.
-Thank you, bro.
-Appreciate it.
Thanks for coming along, guys.
Until the next one.
♪ melodic country ♪

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