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Legendary Native American Figures: First Woman ('Altsé 'Asdzáá)

Name: First Woman
Tribal affiliation: Navajo
Name in Navajo: Áłtsé Asdzáán
Alternate spellings: 'Altsé 'Asdzáá, Ástse Estsán, Etsa-Assun
Pronunciation: alth-tsay ahs-dzahn
Type: Goddess, mother, first people

First Woman and her husband, First Man, were the original progenitors of the human race according to Navajo mythology. In most versions of the myth, First Woman and First Man both originated in the First World and made the journey to the Fourth World together, but in some versions, First Woman originally lived in the Third World and joined up with First Man as he passed through. In either case, First Woman is associated with the color yellow and is sometimes said to have been created from yellow clouds, yellow corn, or yellow clay.

First Woman Stories

*The Navajo Creation Story * First Man and First Woman:
    Two versions of the Navajo creation myth, featuring First Woman and her travels to the Fourth World.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

How The Stars Fell Into The Sky:
    Picture book for children illustrating the Navajo myth about First Woman's creation of the stars.
Frog Brings Rain:
    Cheerful children's book in English and Navajo, illustrating the Navajo legend of Frog saving the First People from a fire.

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Additional Resources

 Navajo Traditional Teachings and History
 Navajo mythology
 Arizona tribes
 Southwest Indians
 Athabaskan languages



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