Indigenous North American "Two-Spirits"

Two-spirit individuals are viewed in some Navajo and other Native American tribes as having two identities occupying one body. Their dress is usually a mixture of traditionally male and traditionally female articles, or they may dress as a man one day, and a woman on another. Some communities that embrace the idea of the two-spirit hold festivals where gender roles are swapped and celebrated by all.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In traditional Navajo culture, the feminine woman is the first gender because it is a matrilineal society. 00:05

  2. When the feminine and masculine are reflected in the body of one person in Navajo culture, the person is regarded as having two spirits. 00:44

  3. Many cultures outside the Western European tradition do not have a neat division between two separate genders. 01:05

Written by Curiosity Staff March 16, 2015