Chief Yellowhorse

Born 3/23/30
Died 10/27/99

Wind In His Face

He lived his life with
   The wind in his face
In white mans world
  Just trying to keep the pace
When times were hard, and money was slack
   He kept hoping that soon
The wind would be at his back
   Around the world he made the trip
Thanks to the U.S. Navy
   and their big air ship
But home he came a much wiser man
   back to his people and his home land
Many a smile he brought to this place
   Always standing - the wind in his face
Though now he is gone
   NO ONE can take his place
We will ALWAYS remember you, Chief

Tommy GrayEagle


Tommy Gray Eagle wrote this poem in Chief YellowHorse's honor called "Wind In His Face", which was read during the service

Saturday 10/30/99
Fort Chief Yellowhorse, AZ
By: David Williams

Chief Yellowhorse was buried today in the family plot located at the base of a cliff and next to a beautiful box canyon on the land that he loved. He died on Wednesday of a heart attack while working in his office. His family, relatives and over one hundred friends attended his funeral under beautiful Arizona skies. The service was conducted in both Navajo and English languages and in Navajo and Christian traditions.

Route 66 travelers know Chief Yellowhorse land and trading post is bordered by Route 66 and is the first place you see as you enter Arizona from New Mexico along the base of red cliffs. The state border runs right through the hogan he built many years ago and serves as the entrance to his trading post.

I met Chief Yellowhorse several weeks ago and had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with him. He boundless energy, laughing smile, and wonderful story telling made him easy to be around. He showed me the cliff dwellings, buffalo, and educated me in the craftsmanship of authentic Navajo rugs. Soon we were sitting outside next to the hogan and he was telling me of his life struggles and of the history of the Navajo and his concerns for his people.

Before I left he said he wanted to incorporate the Internet in his business and he was also interested in how the technology could be used to help his people. He stuffed my bag with many articles of concern to the Navajo and of a newly born white buffalo. We shook hands and I said we'll get together on my return East along Route 66.

I returned Saturday, saw all the cars and people as I turned in to his place and thought, "Man, he sure is busy today." Then I learned from Tommy GrayEagle,who had taken me up into the box canyon, that Chief Yellowhorse had passed away.

At the grave site many people spoke of the times they shared with Chief Yellowhorse, what he meant to them and of his story telling.






His sister spoke of the time he was showing her cliff dwellings, the plants that bloom only at night, and the buffalo and she said, "But Chief, the buffalo look rather small." And so he said, "They are Cave Buffalo." She said, "I have never heard of this Cave Buffalo." The Chief said, "Oh yes, when the white man was slaughtering all the buffalo, the Navajo hid as many as they could in caves so they would be saved. And because they lived in the caves they couldn't grow very large."

Chief YellowHorse will be missed by his many friends all over the world. Good-bye my friend!