REL306ChangingWoman - Daniel McAree REL 306 4/19/11 Molded...

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Daniel McAree REL 306 4/19/11 Molded in the Image of Changing Woman Paper Part One: Navajo Ideas 1. Schwarz’s daughter Ragen went through the Kinaalda, or girl’s first menstruation ceremony, while they were living with the Navajo. At the end of the ritual she was given a ritual shampoo or cleansing of her hair. What did Sadie Billie say should and should not be done with the rinsing water from Ragen’s hair? Pg.3. What could be the good or bad consequences of how the rinse water was disposed of? Is it as though the rinse water having some part of Ragen in it can still effect her in totality? What question about the effects of parts upon wholes (synecdoche) in Navajo thinking and ritual does this raise in Schwarz’s mind that she wants to study? Pg. 3-5. Give another example from the book where one thing is supposed to have an effect on something else it was once in contact with or to which it seems to bear some basic resemblance. See pg.101-109, especially pg. 105 where a patient in the hospital is ritually healed at home (but is not present). Maureen Trudelle Schwarz’s Molded in the Image of Changing Woman examines Navajo views on the human body and personhood. The ceremony known as Kinaalda, or a Navajo girl’s first menstruation ceremony, is of great importance to the Navajo people. Thus, when Schwarz’s daughter Ragen experienced her first menstruation, it was taken very seriously as a family and a religious event because a girl is thought to have great sacred powers soon after her first menstruation to bless the earth and those around her. Schwarz studied the rules governing effect in the Navajo culture because significant events such as a girl’s first menstruation are thought to have profound impacts on the individual’s well-being and health and that of their unborn children and loved ones. Such events must be handled properly to ensure that the power associated with that particular event is not misused, leading to harm for those involved. Key concepts in Navajo culture are homology and synecdoche. Homology is the concept that “parts
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REL306ChangingWoman - Daniel McAree REL 306 4/19/11 Molded...

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