Bigfoot Spotted on the Navajo Nation!

The Navajo Indian reservation is home to many amazing creatures.

One of them is called The Howler.  It is a mysterious being believed to have killed dogs and livestock. Elders in the community call these predators Skinwalkers, and others call it the Navajo version of Bigfoot, particularly news people.

The reservation even has a special law enforcement agency that only responds to paranormal reports such as ghosts, witchcraft, UFOs and even Skinwalkers, or if you prefer, Bigfoot.  (Nah, nothing like a Skinwalker…)

 

A Collage of Rare Navajo Indian Photos and Music

Díyín diné’é (The Holy People)

The Diné are ancient people with a multi-textured history and tradition. They believe they were created from Mother Earth and Father Sky. They are a part of the land, a part of their weaving, and a part of their Mother’s beauty.

And, every Indian nation has its unique story of catastrophic contact with the expanding European settlement of the continent.

The Cherokee, Choctaw, and Seminole nations walked a Trail of Tears in 1838 when forcibly removed from their homeland. Tens of thousands of Indigenous people have died in forced “relocations” and environmental desecration that drove them from their homes. General Carleton’s failed utopian agrarian experiment at Bosque Redondo with the Navajos during resettlement, like others, was a disaster.

Like the Cherokees and their “Trail of Tears,” the Navajo experienced their “Long Walk.”

The Navajos were taken from the protection of the four sacred mountains. Many say that the Navajo people ceased to perform many ceremonies during the time of their captivity at Fort Sumner. And, many remembered those four hard years of the “Long Walk” as an event with as much significance to the Navajos as the Civil War was for other Americans.

Twin Rocks is honored to learn from their resilient and humorous spirits and from the beauty they create.

The film uses artwork / firstpeople.us : “The Creation” – Richard Hook “A Navajo Wedding” – Alfredo Rodriguez Photo credit to: Harold Carey Jr. / navajo-arts.com, old-picture.com, Google.

When Coyote Placed the Milky Way

Barry Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post asks Navajo Weaver Peggy Black about her latest basket.

When Coyote placed the stars is an important part of the creation story.  He was being naughty, but as is often the case, when Coyote is naughty it turns out working out fine in the end.

Regardless, Coyote is the archetypal trickster!

A Man Who is an Unusual Weaver, Allison Billy

Georgiana Kennedy Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post interviews Navajo Rug Weaver Allison Billy.

Allison is one of the few men in Utah, or in any part of the Navajo Nation, who is a weaver.  Traditionally a woman’s art, Allison talks about how he learned (from his grandmother), and when he learned –when he was nine years old.

Allison is a terrific storyteller, and listening to a rare person is always, well, a rare treat.

When a Belt is more than a Belt!

Allison is an extraordinary Navajo artist who lives down near Albuquerque. He goes by his middle name, Snowhawk.

We are overjoyed when he visits, and are blown-away by his art and his technique.

Here he have Steve Simpson, of Twin Rocks, showing us this extraordinary, and one-of-a-kind, piece of wearable art.

The Navajo Sacred Basket and the Basket as Art

Native baskets are made by women, and a few men who lives as women

Baskets are the Province of Women… and a Few Men.

Basketry is generally a woman’s art that is also pursued by the nadle (he-to-she) or men skilled in the arts and lifestyle of both men and women. Basketry is not classified with textile fabrics (yistl’o), but with sewing (nalkhad).

Making baskets is a sacred act – many are used for ceremonial purposes.  Today, there are several amazing artists at Twin Rocks who have created an art form that is a fusion of tradition and cutting-edge contemporary art

Traditionally, while the basket is in progress, the sewer is untouched and avoided by the members of her family. The basket material, too, is placed beyond the immediate reach of the household.  The basketmaking is finished as quickly as possible.  Usually, the craft and art is passed down through women in the family, and learned at a young age.

In days past, if the basketmaking went on too long, sickness and rheumatic stiffness might affect both the wrists and the joints of the sewer.  This was remedied by a singer/medicine man who, in the course of a ceremony, clothed both arms of the patient with the skin of a fawn (bi’yazh).  Then, a hole was broken into the south side of the hogan through which the patient extended her hand and wrist. As soon as the wrist appeared on the outside, her younger sister took it between her teeth, pressing them lightly into the skin.  This removed the stiffness (nasdo’).

There are families of weavers we at Twin Rocks have been honored to work with in their passion to experiment with materials, colors and designs.  What they have created is mind-boggling.  We believe that creating a new art form is also a sacred act, and we applaud these men and women for their vision!