The chindi is a Navajo shapeshifter that takes on the roll of an avenging angel to those who disrespect Earth Mother’s creatures. These creatures can assume any shape or perhaps they can inhabit any living thing. Navajo artist David Little Turtle says, “Almost any traditional Navajo has at least one chindi story to tell. He or she will tell you about coming home at night and seeing coyote walking on its hind legs” (Stiger 60).
One way to distinguish a chindi is that the animal will walk upright, like a human. Another way of identifying an animal that harbors a chindi is that the eyes appear dead—if your headlights hit the animal’s eyes without reflection, that animal is possessed.
Chindi responds to an innocent person depending on the individual’s attitude toward the Earth Mother and whether or not he or she has a good heart. However, if this creature is set against you for whatever reason, the only way to stop the energy is to draw a medicine circle around you and sing or say a prayer for protection. This does not necessarily have to be a Navajo chant. What is important is your attitude. Little Turtle says, “If the chindi sees that you have a good heart, the evil energy will boomerang and return to the one who set it upon you” (Stiger 60).
In a worst case scenario, a wolf, coyote, or fox appears at your door walking on its hind legs, and you don’t know how to draw a proper medicine circle or sing the right prayer, a silver bullet will not kill the spirit. If the host animal is killed, the chindi will merely jump from host to host to host.