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Legendary Native American Figures: Spider Woman (Na'ashjii Asdz)

Name: Spider Woman
Tribal affiliation: Navajo
Name in Navajo: Na'ashjii Asdz
Also spelled: Na ashje'ii 'Asdz
Pronunciation: nah-ahsh-jay-ee ahs-dzah (Navajo)
Type: Goddess, spider, wise woman
Related figures in other tribes: Spider Grandmother (Hopi)

Spider Woman is one of the most important deities of traditional Navajo religion. Unlike the Hopi Spider Grandmother, the Navajo Spider Woman is not considered the creator of humans, but she is their constant helper and benefactor. Spider Woman was the advisor of the heroic twins Monster-Slayer and Born-for-Water, taught the people the arts of weaving and agriculture, and appears in many legends and folktales to "save the day," protect the innocent, and restore harmony to the world.

Spider Woman Stories

*Spider Rock:
    Legends about the Navajo Indian goddess Spider Woman teaching the people to weave and rescuing a lost Navajo boy.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

Ziiniyah: How The Corn Was Saved:
    Bilingual picture book telling the story of a Navajo boy who goes in search of Spider Woman to save his people's crops.
The Magic of Spider Woman:
    Beautifully illustrated picture book based on Navajo Indian legends about Spider Woman and the art of rug weaving.

Additional Resources

 Navajo mythology
 Navajo language
 Arizona Indian reservations
 Southwest tribes
 Athabaskan language



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