First Woman

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Now on the western side of the first world, in a place that later was to become the Land of Sunset, there appeared the Blue Cloud, and opposite it there appeared the Yellow Cloud. Where they came together First Woman was formed, and with her the yellow corn. This ear of corn was also perfect. With First Woman there came the white shell and the turquoise and the yucca. Pg. 2

5- Informant's note: Five names were given also to the First World in its relation to First Woman: White Bead Standing, Yolgai'na ziha ; Turquoise Standing, Dolt i'zhi na ziha ; White Bead Floating Place, Yolgai'dana elth gai ; Turquoise Floating Place, Dolt i'zhi na elth gai ; and Yucca Standing, Tasas y ah gai. Yucca represents cleanliness and things ceremonial.
Pg. 2

First Woman burned Turquoise for a fire. Pg. 2

First Woman Stood opposite in the West. She represented darkness and death. Pg. 2

The Dine': Origin Myths of the Navajo Indians, 1956; Aileen O'Bryan.

First Woman, in Newcomb's (1967:83) version of Creation, implies that the stars are an important cultural text when she says, "When all the stars were ready to be placed in the sky First Woman said, `I will use these to write the laws that are to govern mankind for all time. These laws cannot be written on the water as that is always changing its form, nor can they be written in the sand as the wind would soon erase them, but if they are written in the stars they can be read and remembered forever.'" Pg. 142

Earth is my Mother, Sky is my Father: Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting; 1992, Trudy Griffen-Pierce.

The characterization of First Woman in some settings puts her in a class wholly evil, yet she, like Sun, seems to have had the vision of a world made for man, and the purpose of bringing it into being. When she withdrew from that world she said she would bring colds and similar afflictions, thereby allying herself with evil, yet the part she played in the creation and training of Changing Woman was totally good.

Navajo Religion, Vol I; Gladys A. Reichard, 1950

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