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Spider Grandmother

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The Spider Grandmother is creator of the world in Native American religions and myths such as that of the Pueblo and Navajo/Dineh peoples. According to mythology, she was responsible for the stars in the sky. She took a web she had spun, laced it with dew, threw it into the sky, and the dew became the stars.

Playwright Murray Mednick wrote seven one-act plays called The Coyote Cycles [1] with the same four characters: Coyote, Coyote trickster, Spider Grandmother and Mute Girl. These same characters come from traditional native American stories and myths.

Some Navajo/Dineh limit the telling of stories involving Spider Grandmother to the winter months, which spiders supposedly spend asleep, to avoid attracting her attention or offending her.

Traditionally, the stories involving Spider Grandmother are narratives passed down orally from generation to generation. Susan Hazen-Hammond, author of Timelines of Native American History,[2] and at least eight other books, has gathered numerous tales collected from various tribes and written these narratives in her book, Spider Woman's Web.[3] In this book, Spider Grandmother is also referred to by the names Spider Woman and Spider Old Woman.

G. M. Mullett has also written a book documenting the oral legends of the Spider Woman specific to the Hopi Indians. In these narratives, Spider Woman is also known as the Earth Goddess.[4]

References

  1. The Coyote Cycles, Padua Playwright's Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0963012616
  2. Timelines of Native American History Penguin Group (USA) 1997 ISBN 978-0399523076
  3. Spider Woman's Web, published by Penguin Group (USA) 1999 ISBN 978-0399525469
  4. Spider Woman Stories, published by The University of Arizona Press, 1979. ISBN 0816506213
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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Spider Grandmother. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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