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.


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)

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