Totem Pole and Yei Bi Chei

Monument Valley, Navajo Reservation, Utah / Arizona Border

Two of the more famous sandstone formations in Monument Valley are the Totem Pole and Yei-Bi-Chei. Most of the formations in the Valley have descriptive names and it is often unknown whether the names originated with early settlers, the Navajos or others. 

It is pretty obvious how the Totem Pole got its name to anyone who has seen a totem pole. It is approximately 350-foot in height and is all that remains of a butte that has been eroded over the years. It really illustrates the destructive force of nature.

The formation known as Yei-Bi-Che is located just east of the Totem Pole and was named by the Navajo as it resembles a number of dancers emerging from a Hogan. Navajo men perform the spiritual Yei-Bi-Chei dance during a sacred nine-day ceremony called the "Night Way Ceremony".

This image was taken near dusk and can only be taken when accompanied by a Navajo Guide.