Kinaalda


Kinaaldá, the ceremony associated with the onset of a girl’s puberty, is an important Navajo rite within the Blessingway complex. Derived from the experiences of Changing Woman, the puberty ceremony has been passed through generations and continues to be observed throughout Navajoland.

An acknowledged classic, Kinaaldá remains the most complete "outsider" account of this important ceremony. Charlotte Frisbie’s lucid description takes the reader through the four-day ritual, describing sequence, daily activities, restrictions, observances that include the girl’s race toward the east, and an analysis of the ceremonial music, complete with notations and translation.

To give readers a better sense of why, Frisbie relates the beliefs and practices expressed in Kinaaldá to origin accounts conveyed by medicine people and to explanations and discussions with other Navajos.

Kinaaldá, the ceremony associated with the onset of a girl’s puberty, is an important Navajo rite within the Blessingway complex. Derived from the experiences of Changing Woman, the puberty ceremony has been passed through generations and continues to be observed throughout Navajoland.

An acknowledged classic, Kinaaldá remains the most complete "outsider" account of this important ceremony. Charlotte Frisbie’s lucid description takes the reader through the four-day ritual, describing sequence, daily activities, restrictions, observances that include the girl’s race toward the east, and an analysis of the ceremonial music, complete with notations and translation.

To give readers a better sense of why, Frisbie relates the beliefs and practices expressed in Kinaaldá to origin accounts conveyed by medicine people and to explanations and discussions with other Navajos.


Charlotte Frisbie is professor of anthropology and department chair at Southern Illinois University, Ewardsville.


Praise and Reviews:

"A significant contribution to the study of Navaho religion."—American Anthropologist


“Intricately complete. The most complete imaginable presentation of a vitally important Navajo ceremony.”
—Books of the Southwest