The word he chose to express "fragile" was filled with the intricacies of a continuing process, and with a strength inherent in spider webs woven across paths through sand hills where early in the morning the sun becomes entangled in each filament of web. It took a long time to explain the fragility and intricacy because no word exists alone, and the reason for choosing each word had to be explained with a story about why it must be said this certain way. That was the responsibility that went with being human, old Ku'oosh said, the story behind each word must be told so there could be no mistake in the meaning of what had been said; and this demanded great patience and love.

Tayo returns home from the war both sick with malaria and deeply troubled on an emotional level. His stay at the Veteran's Hospital does little to help with the latter problem. Once home, as soon as he is well enough to get out of bed, Tayo's Grandma arranges for him to see the medicine man, Ku'oosh. Ku'oosh begins his ceremony by repeating to Tayo the names and locations of the places that are sacred to the Laguna, and the basis of their understanding of the world. With Spider Woman as one of the most important figures in Pueblo mythology, the metaphor of the web is most appropriate for describing their world-view. Throughout the novel, animals and plants serve as symbols of the deep connection the Pueblo people have with the natural world.

Although the entire novel is written in English, we have been informed that in this section Ku'oosh speaks to Tayo "using the old dialect." Although we read English words, it is insisted upon that these are only a translation of the original language in which Ku'oosh's words are uttered. In addition, in that language the particular choice of individual words is of prime importance. As this is insisted on, the reader is reminded that although we can read and understand Ceremony, it does not offer us complete access to every element either of the original story or, more significantly, of Laguna culture.