Topic: Begay Family History
Yesterday, Ben David Jones's funeral was held. He was married to my grandmother Nellie Jones and his name was carried on by the individuals seen on the Begay Family Tree.
Today, I talked to a woman visiting our church. Since she was from Many Farms, I asked her if she was familiar with the hill known as Baah Niseghas, which translates "can't crawl up." When she asked me why I asked, I told her that I knew that this hill is in the Many Farms area and that my great-grandfather's sister Asdzaa Baah Niseghas was from there. She told me that she heard of the woman. According to her story, Asdzaa Baah Niseghas was chased by Ute Indians. She told her horse, "If they catch us, we will die." So, she rode her horse up the hill "Can't Crawl Up" and escaped. I remembered this story, told by my 5th grade teacher Mr. Kedelty but didn't remember her name or know at the time she was distantly related to me. I remember him saying that she laughed at the Utes in the hill down below with her single tooth showing.
Interestingly, when using the word "baah niseghas" to describe someone, the definition changes. So when used as a womans name, it can translate "She Slips Thru The Fingers," accurately describing her evasion from Ute scouts.
During the funeral, talking to my relatives my grandmother Marie Begay had told me where the name ii' Bidagi came from. ii' Bidagi is the name of the region where my great-grandmother's hogan stands. According to legend, Changing Woman had passed through that area as she walked from the east to the west creating the various clans. Also, a migratory path used to cross through there extending from the north to the south that horses traveled on. These horses used to congregate at ii' Bidagi.
Also, near cottonwood boarding school, there are a couple of white piles our mounds that are scattered. These also represent part of Changing Woman's trail to the west. Here she cleaned out her shoes and left these mounds.
My aunt Francine had also told me about Daghaa' Nazbasii, which means "Round Beard". He got his name from his mustache. His hair was completely white but his mustache was jet black. It used to circle his mouth nicely, like a goatee. She only saw him once and couldn't tell me much about him.