Native North American Mythologies

The Native American Great Goddess

What is the kinaalda myth?

The young goddess who would become known as Changing Woman told her parents, First Man and First Woman, that she was experiencing her first menses. The delighted first couple decided on a celebratory ritual. First Woman would play the role of Ideal Woman. Ideal Woman dressed the maiden in special clothes and carefully brushed her hair. This all represented the girl’s achievement of hozho, which is beauty, or harmony. Each day during the rite, the girl ran for a long distance toward the east, the place of the sun and of beauty. And each day Ideal Woman massaged her with the power of womanhood and fertility, which would lead eventually to the birth of the sacred hero twins. On the last day of the ceremony, Ideal Woman massaged her from head to toe, literally rubbing in the power of womanhood and the capacity later to produce the sacred twins. On the last day of the ceremony the girl became Changing Woman.


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