Indigenous North American "Two-Spirits"

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.

02:25

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    In traditional Navajo culture, the feminine woman is the first gender because it is a matrilineal society. (0:05)

  • 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. (0:44)

  • 3

    Many cultures outside the Western European tradition do not have a neat division between two separate genders. (1:05)

See all

Aviation

Lightning

Moon

Planets

Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.