today’s holiday: Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites

Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites

The Apache Maidens’ Puberty Rites are a coming-of-age celebration of girls of the Mescalero Apache Tribe, held for four days and nights around the Fourth of July in Mescalero, New Mexico. On the first and last days, the girls run around a basket four times, symbolizing the four stages of life (infancy, childhood, adulthood, and old age). On the last day, their faces are painted with white clay and they enact the role of White Painted Woman, preparing for a rewarding adult life. Other events include a rodeo, a powwow, a parade on July 4, and the nighttime Dance of the Mountain Gods. More… Discuss

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