A-ya is the word for me in Cherokee. A-ya was the name given to the maiden created by the Ghigua to defeat the immortal Kalona.

The free will of the Ghigua is what saved our people. They used the magic of women to create a maiden so beautiful, she would be impossible for Kalona to resist. They created a maiden. The Ghigua who was the most gifted potter formed a maiden's body from clay, and painted a face for her that was beautiful beyond compare. The Ghigua known as the most gifted weaver in all the tribes wove long, dark hair for her that fell in waves around her slim waist. The Ghigua dressmaker fashioned a dress for her that was the white of the full moon, and all of the women decorated it with shells ad beads and feathers. The Ghigua who was the most fleet of foot stroked her legs and gifted her with speed. And the Ghigua who was known as the most talented singer of all the tribes whispered sweet, soft words to her, giving her the most pleasing of all voices. Each of the Ghigua cut their palms and used their own blood as ink to draw on her body the symbols of power representing the Sacred Seven: north, south, east, west, above, below, and spirit. Then they joined hands around the beautiful clay figure and, using their combined power, breathed life into her. The Ghigua women breathed life and purpose into the woman they called A-ya. They named her A-ya because she has a piece of every one of them within her--she was, to each Ghigua woman, me. The Ghigua told no one about A-ya--not their husbands or daughters, sons, or fathers. With the next dawn, they led her out of the cave to a place near the stream where Kalona came every morning to bathe, all the while whispering to her what she must do. So it was there, sitting in a little patch of morning sunlight, combing her hair and singing a maiden's song, that Kalona saw her, and--as the women knew he would--he became instantly obsessed with possessing her. A-ya did what she has been created to do. She fled from Kalona with her magical speed. Kalona followed her. In his fierce need for her, he barely hesitated at the mouth of the cave into which she disappeared, and he did not see the Ghigua women who followed behind him, nor did he hear their soft magical chanting. Kalona caught A-ya deep within the bowels of the earth. Instead of screaming and struggling against him, this most beautiful of maidens welcomed him with smooth arms and inviting body. But the instant he penetrated her, that soft, inviting body changed back into what it had once been--earth and the spirit of woman. Her arms and legs became the clay the held him, her spirit the quicksand that trapped him, as the Ghigua Women's chanting called on the Earth Mother to seal the cave, trapping Kalona in A-ya's eternal embrace. And there he still is today, firmly held to the bosom of Earth.
Sylvia Redbird to Zoey Redbird and Aphrodite LaFont in Untamed. Pages 218-220.

A-ya's Spirit in Zoey RedbirdEdit

Zoey Redbird carries around a piece of A-ya's soul inside her. She is the reincarnation of A-ya. A-ya was created to love Kalona and loved him she did when she was alive. There is a piece of Zoey, that piece of A-ya, that will desire Kalona. She knows this and fights her soul's attraction for him because she knows he is pure evil. Zoey Redbird still hoped there was good in him.

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