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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Spider Woman   Tue Dec 11, 2007 9:10 pm

For many of Native Americans seem to have "spider woman" stories as important creation mithologies. One of the common feature of those are wisdom symbolized with spiders' webs. (For example, she taught the human how to waeve.) Also generally accepted are the ideas that her "thread" connects human world and creation god or the world of spirits. Even Spider Woman weaves "relationship" of Web of Life and all beings. Some point out that the important position given to the female character reflects the matrilineal society's values. The assertive image of women with wisdom counters against modern images of "evil spider women" eating and killing men.

North American Realm of the Forgotten Goddesses:

Spider Woman is an important goddess among many southwestern Native American tribes. Though occasionally destructive, she is nearly alwys portrayed as beneficent. The Keresan Spider Woman created everything there is by thinking, dreaming, or naming; she thaugt the people how to plant seeds.

Cherokee Grandmother spider brought people the sun and fire. She taught them pottery, weaving, and how to make ceremonial blessings. Spider Woman is responsible for bringing fire amoung the Pueblo, Tewa and Kiwa tribes. A spider woman called Biliku, found in the Indian subcontinent, also brought fire and light.

For the Hopi, Spider Woman is a creator who helped the people during their emergence, created the moon, has the power to give and take life, and is connected to hunting and agriculture.
(Text: Michael Babcock, Picture: Susan Boulet, from the Goddess Knowledge Cards)

Spider Man and Spider Woman are Navaho supernaturals or Holy People. They taught the Navaho people how to weave, and established the four warnings of death. Spider Woman is an important mythic being among both the Eastern Pueblos and the Western Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona.

She probably assimilated into the Navaho religious assemblage, as the Athabasans migrated from their home land in Canada to the southwest, slowly taking on character as they went along from different cultural associations. However, the major influence was from the Pueblo peoples of the southwest, especially during the 1600's and early 1700's, in conjunction with the Pueblo Revolt. At this time there was a very close living association between the Navaho and the Pueblos, at places like Largo Canyon in New Mexico. These stressful times greatly influenced the Navaho religion and thought. In general, Spider, Spider Woman or Spider Man is a beneficial character in the myths and stories of the Plains, Southwestern, and Western American Indians. In some cases a creator (Pima and Zia) and others a trickster ( Dakota groups). Among the Jicarilla Apache, spider is a minor character, but Spider Woman is a very important personage in the myths of the Hopi, especially with the Hero Twins and Culture Heroes. She even takes a part in the Sunset Crater myth, which may well have some Sinagua affiliations

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