Spider Woman

Spider Woman is an important goddess among many south-western Native American tribes. Though occasionally destructive, she is nearly always portrayed as beneficent. The Keresan Spider Woman created everything there is by thinking, dreaming, or naming: she taught the people how to plant seeds. Cherokee Grandmother Spider brought people the sun and fire; she taught them pottery, weaving, and how to make ceremonial blessings. Spider Woman is responsible for bringing fire among the Pueblo, Tewa, and Kiwa (Kiowa?) tribes. A Spider Woman named Kiliku, found in the Indian subcontinent, also brought fire and light. For the Hopi, Spider Woman is a creator who helped the people during their emergence, created the moon, has the power to give and take life, and is connected to hunting and agriculture.

Spider Woman is a reminder that good comes from everywhere. Even the lowly spider, sometimes dismissed as irrelevant, has the power to create and teach.


The Sphinx
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Tlazolteotl: Toltec
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Ⓒ The Susan Eleanor Boulet Trust (illustration)
Ⓒ Text copyright Michael Babcock