Kira is a significant character in Gathering Blue on several levels. She is important within her family because her mother's love enabled her to stay alive in opposition to society's Way. She becomes important within the society because she shows that a person with disabilities can be productive and not a drain on resources. Although she did not set out to become literate, she learned to read from the dyeing instructions. As a literate person, she is significant as a rebel, albeit an unintentional one, who can show others the power of words. Her involvement in many phases of cloth preparation are especially important. Through these activities--both the conceptual imagination behind them and the practical aspects of carrying out the ideas--she stands for the creative human spirit that her society almost extinguished.