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Spider woman's hands a native american myth for our time


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An overview by artist Lauren Raine MFA of the Native American Creatrix mythology of the Spider Woman, and its significance for the contemporary world, and includes overview of community arts projects facilitated by Ms. Raine as participants explore the meanings of weaving and interconnection

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Spider woman's hands a native american myth for our time

  1. 1. Spider Woman’s Hands by Lauren Raine
  2. 2. “What might we see, how might we act, if we saw the world with a webbed vision?”
  3. 3. The Cross and Spider Is ubiquitous at prehistoric Mississippian and Mound Builder sites. So is the “Hand and Eye” talisman. Mississippian Gorget, ca. 1500 ad.
  4. 4. Spiro mound artifact, Woolaroc Museum, Oklahoma “Spider Woman’s” many hands ?
  5. 5. Among Pueblo peoples of the Southwest Spider Woman made the world with the stories She told. She is also called “Thought Woman”. Anasazi petroglyph from Arizona
  6. 6. Spider Woman passed on this creative power to Her Relations.
  7. 7. “Ts' its' tsi' nako, Thought-Woman, the Spider is sitting in her room thinking up a good story now: I'm telling you the story she is thinking” Keresan Pueblo Proverb
  8. 8. “The Universe is made of stories, not atoms” …..Muriel Rukeyser
  9. 9. In Pueblo cosmologies, Spider Woman led the people through the Sipapu (or birth canal) at the end of each Age into the New World. The “4th World” has just ended according to their calendar. Perhaps the World Wide Web is Her latest appearance!
  10. 10. The Navajo (Dine`) say that Spider Woman lives on Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly.
  11. 11. They revere Spider Woman because she was the First Weaver, a wise guide to the initiated. Like a spider, she can be so small one may never see her . Yet the Web of Grandmother Spider Woman is everywhere, for those with eyes to see.
  12. 12. To this day, Navajo midwives rub a little spider web into the hands of newborn girls ~ so they will become good weavers.
  13. 13. “Spider Woman’s Cross” design in traditional Navajo rug. Balance, inter-dependancy
  14. 14.   “To the Hopi, weaving is an act that uncovers a pattern that is already there.” John Loftin, Religion and Hopi Life
  15. 15. like Spider Woman we also spin worlds into being with the stories we tell………. What are the Stories we need now?
  16. 16. The 6th Extinction Psychologists have not begun to ponder the emotional toll of the loss of our fellow life. Nor have theologians reckoned the spiritual impoverishment that extinction brings. Mark Jerome Walters THE NATURE CONSERVANCY
  17. 17. “What might we see, how might we act, if we saw the world with a webbed vision? The world seen through a web of relationships….. as delicate as spider silk, yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.” Catherine Keller, “From a Broken Web”
  18. 18. We weave with the work of our hands and words
  19. 19. weave [weev]: 1. to make something by interlacing threads vertically and horizontally. 2. to spin something such as a spider's web. 3. to construct story: 4. to introduce separate parts into something larger [ Old English wefan < Germanic]
  20. 20. “At the quantum level Reality is strange and non-local: the whole universe is a network of interconnection that transcends time and space.” Ervin Laszlo, Physicist
  21. 21. “Synchronicities may demonstrate an underlying unified pattern that is about the nature of consciousness .” F. David Peat, Physicist
  22. 22. Synchronicities might just be……. Spider Woman’s way of saying “Hello”.
  23. 23. Spider Woman‘s Hands Community Arts Projects Exploring with others what it means to weave the Web together……….as “Spiderwoman’s Hands”.
  24. 24. “Weavers” at the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion with the Faculty and Students in Washington D.C. (2009)
  25. 25. “Weaving the Web” Performance, Tucson, Arizona (2004)Spider Woman weaving with audience at “Restoring the Balance” community performance, the Muse Community Art Center, Tucson, AZ (2004)
  26. 26. “Spider Woman’s Hands” Community Arts Project, at the Midland Center for the Arts and Aldon B. Dow Creativity Fellowship, Midland, MI (2007)
  27. 27. “Spider Woman’s Hands” Community Arts Project at the Creative Spirit Center (2008)
  28. 28. “Naming the Links” with Prayer Ties and Personal Icons
  29. 29. “WOVEN” Community Dance Performance for the Winter Solstice, Zuzi’s Dance Theatre, Tucson, AZ (2017)