When Ash Scattering, Be Considerate

Jun 29, 2012 | 1 comment

Four Corners Monument

Four Corners Monument, where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet

Scattering ashes or cremated remains can be done in plenty of places, but please don’t do it on tribal lands. At the Four Corners National Monument, a Navajo tribal park, a woman dumped human cremains near the point where the four states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet. This is very bad juju.

The Navajo tradition prohibits cremation. They consider it taboo. And it is against the Navajo’s cultural beliefs to scatter human remains on Navajo lands.

The woman who dumped the ashes at the Four Corners Monument did it in front of about 50 vendors nearby, many of whom were elderly traditional Navajo people. A Navajo medicine man came in to do a cleansing ceremony of the area on Tuesday.

On public lands and waters, it’s okay to scatter as long as you don’t try to set up a memorial marker. Out here in the wide open west, make sure the land you seek to scatter upon will not impact the tribes that lived here before everyone else moved in.

For a great book on cremation scattering ceremonies, visit this page at AGoodGoodbye.com.

You may find this YouTube video I created about how to scatter ashes to be helpful:

How to Scatter Ashes
A Good Goodbye