Traditional Navajo Taboos Food and Cooking

  1. Do not eat with your hat on because you will not get full.
  2. Do not damage things you have eaten from because people do that when you die.
  3. Do not eat from broken or cracked cooking utensils because only evil spirits do that and you will be bewitched.
  4. Do not feed Navajo cake to a dog or it will not taste good next time.
  5. Girl's should not eat their own Navajo cake or their teeth will all fall out.
  6. Do not eat a Navajo cake all by yourself or your teeth will all fall out.
  7. Do not stab a knife point first into meat or other food or you will have sharp pains inside your body.
  8. Do not eat with a knife because you will have backaches and lose your livestock.
  9. Do not leave meat joints together or they will run off and you will lose them.  You will also get rheumatism.
  10. Do not eat from stacked dishes because some day you will starve to death.
  11. Do not put the cap back on any empty bottle or you will get a headache.
  12. Do not put a bowl, Navajo basket, or bucket on your head because you will not grow any more.
  13. Do not eat without feeding something to the fire or you will never be rich.
  14. Do not cook ribs inside up or you will get divorced.
  15. Do not eat from a pot that is still cooking or you will starve to death someday.
  16. Do not eat the heel of a loaf of bread or you will have lots of children.
  17. Do not eat, kick, or look at mushrooms or you will go blind.
  18. Do not eat in front of a dog or he will get full and you will go hungry.
  19. Do not eat things like the meat of bears and snakes because you will go wild or crazy.
  20. Do not count things while you are cooking (fry bread) because they will decrease.
  21. Do not waste meat or your livestock will go away.
  22. Do not shoot an animal you are going to eat.  Instead butcher it another way or the meat will spoil.
  23. Do not eat any livestock killed by a snake or it will kill you.
  24. Do not eat on a rock or you will get heavy as a rock.
  25. Do not eat in bed or you will choke yourself.
  26. Do not break a deer bone when you are eating or you will have a broken bone.
  27. Do not spit out deer meat once it is in your mouth because next time there will not be any deer.
  28. Do not give deer meat to dogs or you will have bad luck.
  29. Do not eat the side of a sheep with a funny eyeball or you will go blind.
  30. Do not eat chicken skins or you will get boils and bumps on your skin.
  31. Do not eat any water animal  (frogs, fish, ducks, etc) or you will get sick.
  32. Do not poke holes in food or you will have ulcers and stomach trouble.
  33. Do not sit on a bag of flour because it will go down and you will not have anything to eat.
  34. Do not eat the scum of boiled milk or you will get wrinkles.
  35. Girls should not burn fry bread or they will get a divorce.
  36. Do not eat meat from a dead animal you find because it will make poison you and make you sick.
  37. Do not waste good food or next time you will go hungry.
  38. Do not eat anything from a trash pile or you will get a bump or hunchback.
  39. Do not eat raw meat because it will poison you.
  40. Do not eat raw potatoes or you will get a lump under your chin (goiter).
  41. Do not eat watermelon lying down or you will choke.
  42. Do not rub your stomach after you eat or you will get a pain.
  43. Do not play with your food or you will never get enough.
  44. Do not let your hair touch your food or you will have hair grow in your stomach.
  45. Do not eat when there is an eclipse or you will get sick.
  46. Do not eat frogs because you will have bad luck or bad breath.

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