Ganaskidi is the name of the Navajo deity who leads a group of spirits called the Ganaskidi. They are spirits of abundance and the harvest. Ganaskidi literally means “humpback.” Images of the Ganaskidi seen as pictographs or petro-glyphs sometimes resemble the more ubiquitous Kokopelli. Both Kokopelli and Ganaskidi have close associations with precipitation and mountain sheep.
The hump on Ganaskidi’s back is actually a cloud sack loaded with mist, rainbows, and produce, especially corn. The cloud bag is so heavy, Ganaskidi must lean over and brace himself with a staff. Ganaskidi appears in ancient canyon petroglyphs, modern Navajo carpet motifs, and as a sacred mask. There is a famous 1905 photograph by Edward S. Curtis of a Navajo man wearing a Ganaskidi mask.
Take good care of those mountain sheep! Anyone may he a spirit in disguise.
ALSO KNOWN AS:
Ganaskidi manifest in their classic image but also in the form of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
Ganaskidi wears a crown formed from a basket ornamented with eagle feathers, so as to resemble the sun’s rays emerging from behind a cloud. His head may be crowned with ram’s horns instead, in which case the solar ray-like feathers may emanate from his hump.
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.