Blessing Way

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This article is about the Navajo ceremonial complex. For the novel, see The Blessing Way. For the episode of The X-Files, see The Blessing Way (The X-Files).

The Blessing Way is one half of the major Navajo song ceremonial complexes, the other half being the Enemy Way. The rites and prayers in the Blessing Way are concerned with healing, creation, harmony and peace. The song cycles recount the elaborate Navajo creation story related to the rites contained within the Blessing Way.

Perhaps the most important of all these rituals is the Kinaaldá ceremony, in which a young girl makes the transition to womanhood upon her menarche.[1] During the course of the ceremony, the girl enacts the part of Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé),[1] the deity responsible for fertility entering the world. The Kinaaldá ceremony includes the girl demonstrating endurance by ritualised running, each dawn over a period of several days, as well as a hair-combing ritual and the baking of a large corn cake, or alkaan.[1][2][3]

Ceremonies regarding expectant mothers are also part of the Blessing Way. However, these are not to be confused with some ceremonies held by other cultures for expectant mothers, which may also be called Blessing Way ceremonies regardless of their actual connection with the Navajo Blessing Way.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Joanne McCloskey, Living Through the Generations: Continuity And Change in Navajo Women's Lives, University of Arizona Press, 2007, pp. 159–162, ISBN 0-8165-2631-1.
  2. ^ Jordan D. Paper, Native North American Religious Traditions: Dancing for Life, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, pp. 95–97, ISBN 0-2759-9097-4.
  3. ^ Alice N. Nash and Christoph Strobel, Daily Life of Native Americans from Post-Columbian Through Nineteenth-Century America, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006, p. 152, ISBN 0-3133-3515-X.

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