Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Paper chronicles Navajo girl's journey into womanhood

The Farmington Daily Times publishes the last installment of its series on a young Navajo girl's journey into womanhood.

The Kinaalda is a four-day ceremony that celebrates the changes a young girl goes through. It is performed to ensure the girl becomes a beautiful, respectful, and responsible Navajo woman.

Mariah Tsosie, 11, went through the ceremony recently. She said it was an occasionally difficult ordeal but well worth it.

Planning for the Kinaalda began when Mariah began to menstruate. Almost every member of her family, from her mother to her grandparents, took part in the activities.

The ceremony involved four distinct events. First, Mariah had to be dressed and "molded" as an ideal woman. Second, she had to run three times a day for the first three days of the ceremony and once again on the final day. Next, she had to grind several pounds of corn to make a corn cake. Finally, she participated in an all night Blessing Way ceremony. The cake is cut after the last ceremony.

Get the Story:
Starting the road to 'a good life' (The Farmington Daily Times 8/3) Many tribes hold rite of passage (The Farmington Daily Times 8/3)
Navajo girl starts journey into womanhood (The Farmington Daily Times 8/2)
Kinaalda as old as Navajo people (The Farmington Daily Times 8/2)
Kinaalda a family affair (The Farmington Daily Times 8/2)