Navajo song ceremonial complex
The Navajo song ceremonial complex is a spiritual practice used by certain Navajo ceremonial people to restore and maintain balance and harmony in the lives of the people. One half of the ceremonial complex is the Blessing Way, while the other half is the Enemy Way (Anaʼí Ndááʼ).
The Blessing 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 (Diné Bahaneʼ).
One of most important Blessing Way rites is the Kinaaldá ceremony, in which a young girl makes the transition to womanhood upon her menarche. During the course of the ceremony, the girl enacts the part of Changing Woman (Asdzą́ą́ Nádleehé), the powerful spirit woman 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.
The Enemy Way
Associated with the Enemy Way is a Girl's Dance, to which young men are invited by marriageable young women. This derives from an aspect of the Monster Slayer myth, in which two captive girls are liberated.
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