Majority Of Native Americans Will Not Watch Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — While much of the country gawks at the solar eclipse, Bobbieann Baldwin will be inside with her children, shades drawn.
In Navajo culture, the passing of the moon over the sun is an intimate moment in which the sun is reborn and tribal members take time out for themselves. No talking. No eating or drinking. No lying down. No fussing.
"It's a time of renewal," said Baldwin, a Navajo woman from Fort Defiance, Arizona. "Kind of like pressing the alt, control, delete button on your computer, resetting everything."
U.S. Bureau of Indian Education spokeswoman Nedra Darling said the agency's schools, most of which are on the Navajo Nation, were given the option of closing Monday. Navajo Nation employees have Monday off, and other schools on and off the reservation that extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah earlier decided to close in respect of the culture that teaches that looking at the sun during an eclipse can be harmful not only to one's eyesight but for overall well-being.
"You're welcoming negativity into your life, or turmoil, or troublesome times ahead of you, as well as socially, health-wise and spiritually," Baldwin said. "You're observing something that should not be observed."