Apache, the Sacred Path to Womanhood

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9781569246672: Apache, the Sacred Path to Womanhood
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Strikingly illustrated with 70 color photographs

At a time when most modern young women are seeking fulfillment and enrichment along bold new roads, teenage girls of the Apache people (or Ndé) continue to follow a traditional path to womanhood -- through a sacred rite of passage handed down over generations. Called na ih es, ("getting her ready"), this ceremony predates the near annihilation of the tribe in the 1870s and 1880s, when the U.S. was at war against the Apache.

     As illustrated and chronicled in this beautiful volume, the young women embark upon an extraordinary four-day, four-night personal journey in which they undergo a spiritual transformation to become White Shell Woman, the mother of the Apache people. John Annerino's spectacular photographs show the dedication of the girls and their initiators (both women and men), dances by firelight, elaborate costumes and disguises, and the various stages that must be experienced. He describes the journey, rarely witnessed by non-Indians, and its significance in the accompanying essay.

John Annerino is a world-renowned photojournalist. For the past two decades, he has documented the West's natural beauty, indigenous peoples, and political changes. He lives in Tucson, AZ. John Annerino's photographs recently appeared in the March issue of the Life magazine cover article "Kids and God."

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COLORADO PLATEAU WILD and BEAUTIFUL by the author is now available on Amazon.com

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At a time when modern women seek fulfillment and enrichment on a bold new road to feminism, young Apache women continue to follow an ancient path to womanhood -- a sacred rite of passage which predates the near annihilation of the Ndé, (Apache people). Apache teenagers embark upon a four-day-and-night-long ceremony called na ih es, ("getting her ready"). Here they undergo the spiritual transformation from young women to White Shell Woman -- the mother of the Apache.

Apache is a rare and intimate look at a sacred Native American ceremony that had survived the ravages of history. Nowhere else in North America do young women follow such ancient and sacred cultural traditions as do the Apache in this beautiful celebration of life, community, and womanhood. Apache is a spectacular pictorial book that will take you where few non-Indians have been allowed to tread, offering a singular portrait of Native American culture and ceremony.

Acclaimed photojournalist John Annerino was born of the edge of the desert and cut his teeth in the heart of the American west. The consummate Arizona native, he has been working in the frontier of old Mexico and the American west for the last two decades, documenting its natural beauty, indigenous peoples, and it political upheaval. Annerino is the author of five other books, including four photo eessays on this mythic region and the spirited individuals and Native people who have lived here since the time of legend. His memoir of an 750-mile journey run on foot through the Arizona wilderness from Mexico to Utah is a work in progress.

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