Worshiping Spiderman and Spiderwoman
We all know about our friendly neighborhood superhero Spiderman, a popular character by Marvel Comics first introduced in 1962. Bitten by a radioactive spider a high school student Peter Parker became the superhero Spiderman. Spidey has superhuman reflexes, strength and uses his power of Web. Marvel than in 1977 introduced another character, The Spiderwoman. Jessica drew suffered from uranium positioning and the only way to cure her was sealing her in a genetic accelerator. Jessica’s father injected her with his untested spider serum that made her Spiderwoman. She has super human strength, speed, and endurance. She also focuses her bio-electric energy into powerful venom blasts that can penetrate through any surface, kill or stun enemies. Both of these Characters are actually the most important and honored Deities of the Dine or Navajo people. They played a very important role in the Creation of the Universe and Mankind. Marvel and DC both comic giants have adopted many characters from Mythology. So were Spiderman and Spiderwoman. Let us look at the Original Spiderman and woman.
Tracing the Original.
In some Navajo legends Spiderwoman is Pueblo woman who was taught the craft by a spider. In acknowledgment of their debt to Spiderwoman, Navajo weavers always left a hole in the center of each blanket, like that of a spider’s web. The Spiderman and woman have been throughout the creation of the different world. A great detail is mentioned in the Book Navajo Religion, Vol II by Gladys A. Reichard.
The Navajo world was created in stages. The first world was dark and black with just four corners. In the Four Corners, four clouds Black, white, yellow and blue appeared. The Black Cloud was the Feminine force and the white was the Masculine force. The first world grew on an island floating in mist. On it was only a pine tree. The place where black and white cloud first met, there first man and woman were born. The first man spirit came with white corn and the female came with yellow. Both of them stood opposite each other, one in the east and one in the west. The first man then called the first woman to live with him. Then another being was created called the Great Coyote, he was hatched from an egg in water. Then another being came into existence, he was Atse’hashke’ the first Angry. He said to the three of them that he was the first amongst them. Then came the wasp people or tsts’na. After the wasps came small spider ants. After these powerful creatures came to The Spiderman and Spiderwoman, along with the salt man and salt woman. Then the second world or blue world was created, followed by the third yellow world and the fourth white world.
In the first world, there was a great deluge, the waters rose really high. Spiderwoman wove a web that served as the lifesaving raft. Spiderwoman saves the first man, woman, coyote and other creatures with her web.
In the blue world, Spiderwoman stole water monster’s baby with her web. Then the twins, born of the first woman were on a journey.it is during their journey they saw a house, there was smoke coming from underneath. They entered the house and saw many seats. Firstborn chose to sit on one of flint, his brother on turquoise. In the house was an old woman, he was the Spiderwoman who gave the twins sacred chants and bundle of prayer sticks. She also fixed the flint and turquoise ‘men’ within The Twins to make them invincible.
Spiderman and Spiderwoman also taught the Navajo people to weave. It was only them who knew the use of cotton fibers. The Spiderman taught the people to shape a little wheel, about 3 -4 inches in diameter and by placing a slender stick the Spindle was made. Then the Spiderwoman instructed the Navajo women how to weave on a loom. The weaved woolen ball was erected on a cross pole. The cross poles were made of sky and earth cords, the warp sticks of sun rays, the healds of rock crystal and sheet lightning. The baton was a sun halo, white shell made the comb.
Four Spindle’s were made “one a stick of zigzag lightning with a whorl of cannel coal; one a stick of flash lightning with a whorl of turquoise; a third had a stick of sheet lightning with a whorl of abalone; a rain streamer formed the stick of the fourth, and its whorl was white shell”.
The Navajo people did not need to depend on animal skin for clothing they could make their own cotton or woolen clothes. It was also a Tradition that when a baby girl was born they would find a spider web woven at some hole and rub it on baby’s hand so that when the baby grows up she would become a great weaver and her hands would never tire.
Another legend says that man journeyed into the sky and met Spiderwoman. It is she who made human arteries and is considered to be a medicine woman. Navajo women believe that the spirit outlet prevents Spiderwoman from spinning cobwebs in their brain, an ailment also known as blanket sickness. Her spiritual power, as seen in her silken web, joins the realms of Earth and Sky. In most of the ways, She is a beneficent female, a mother figure who guides mortals and can be trusted to stand up to Coyote when he performs witchcraft or enacts misdeeds.