The indigenous Xilonen ceremony is a rite of passage and coming of age celebration which honors young women and predates Spanish colonial invasion. Xilonen represents the young goddess of maize or tender corn. The ceremony is a widely significant ritual as it is celebrated in various countries throughout through out the Americas. I have attended a part of the beautiful ceremony in San Francisco. Young women who are invited to participate prepare with their families for months and months prior to the multi-day ceremony.
“The Xilonen ceremonies bring the entire community together to acknowledge this important time in the lives of young women. Across time, Xilonen has remained a traditional act of empowerment for young women. It provides a strong reminder to young women that they are part of a strong cultural tradition, that they can make meaningful contributions to their community, and that their leadership, wisdom, and advice can help young women who will follow them.”(from Instituto de la Raza)