[book cover]
On the Trail of the Spider Woman: Petroglyphs, Pictographs, and Myths of the Southwest, Carol Patterson-Rudolph
1997, Ancient City Press, paper
132 pages, 32 color photos, 55 figures & b/w photos, 6 charts, biblio, index, 7" x 10"
$17.00

On the Trail of Spider Woman weaves together the stories of tiny, elusive Spider Woman as she is mythologized by the Keresan Pueblo, Hopi, and Navajo people. Each tribe sees this mythic figure differently, yet there is no need to depict her in a realistic form. Instead she is described in symbols that reflect her attitudes. She is a metaphor for something small or invisible yet very powerful. She represents creativity, spirit, old age, and wisdom.

Following the trail of Spider Woman means comparing the myths and stories surrounding her with images portrayed at petroglyph sites. Though the people who made the petroglyphs have since migrated to new lands, her trail stretches back into the canyons of Utah, where centuries ago people lived and engraved her story on the rocks for future generations to read. The petroglyphs and the pictographs are veil between the observer and other, transcendental realms. They are a portal through which to enter the world of Spider Woman.


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