Navajo Wind Energy Basket and Healing

Navajo Wind Energy Basket Relates to Holy Wind, our Breath, and Kinship

Navajo Wind Energy Basket Relates to Holy Wind, our Breath, and Kinship

Just like the Western notion of the soul, Holy Wind exists everywhere. Every living thing is part of it.

The basket pictured is made by Navajo artist Chris Johnson.  As a member of the Betty Rock Johnson family, Chris has been schooled by the finest. Using richly traditional colors of red and black and a wind energy theme, Chris had made an interesting crossover piece. Chris’ weavings do not last long so don’t hesitate.

Holy Wind is the underlying element that unifies all beings. People, deer, buffalo, spiders, stars, clouds, goatheads, fish and pinon trees — everything — are all united by breath and wind. The singe soul sings within it, and us, all.

Because we have kinship with all living beings, we also have the responsibilities that come along with those connections. This means that the earth, animals and plants that live on it (as well as the sky with its entities and phenomena) are related and will take care of us. And, they will provide for us as long as we recognize that we’re responsible for being part of the earth and the sky, too. It’s a two-way street.

Breath and speech are intimately related to the concept of Holy Wind, or nilch’i. There is a holy quality to breath that we don’t often recognize in our culture. Traditional Navajos think of breathing as a sacred act that unite all living beings.

It is possible for a patient in a healing ceremony to breathe in the life-giving power of the sun outside of the hogan, because the chanter’s breath rolls inside the hogan. The intimate relationship between speech and breath is a life principle that makes the very act of speech act sacred.

Words have a sacred, creative power. In Navajo creation stories, the Holy People spoke, sang, and prayed the world into existence. The uniting power of Holy Wind is the same force that fills the Holy People themselves with life, movement, speech, and behavior.

We have direct access to the thought and speech of the Holy Ones through breath and words. That Holy Wind, or soul, is our inner form, and so it is with all living beings. Beautiful.

The basket above is made by Navajo artist Chris Johnson.  As a member of the Betty Rock Johnson family, Chris has been schooled by the finest. Using richly traditional colors of red and black and a wind energy theme, Chris had made an interesting crossover piece. Chris’ weavings do not last long so don’t hesitate.

“Young Buck Prancing” Southwest Necklace Made from Deer Antler

James Olson uses natural materials and combines them with the finest in silversmithing to create unique Southwest jewelry for Twin Rocks Trading Post

James Olson uses natural materials and combines them with the finest in silversmithing to create unique Southwest jewelry.

From the fertile imagination of Jamie Olson comes a pin/pendent crafted of naturally shed deer antler with Utah jet and sterling silver.

Jamie has titled this piece, as much art as jewelry, “Young Buck Prancing”. When it comes to his jewelry designs and the material he uses to produce them, this gifted artist is cleverly creative. Wearing Jamie’s jewelry tells everyone you have impeccable taste. That’s fine and dandy. Most of all, it makes you feel as if you have a magic talisman.

James A. Olson, says of himself, the artist:

“About my work, or lack of, it chose me as much as I chose it. Asked where I get my ideas, I can’t really say for sure. I’m thankful I get them once in awhile, and have the basic skills to carry them through to a satisfactory condition, at that point and time. I’m blessed, I love what I do, it’s a passion. When that love and passion is not there, I’ll do something else.”

Jamie’s work is finally getting the notice and recognition it deserves. Galleries in Denver, and Big Parts Elsewhere, are discovering him. He may live in a little studio just across from Twin Rocks Gallery and Cafe in Bluff, but as often happens, the world comes to Bluff. What the world discovers is art from the heart. Art from the soul.

If you’re tempted to get one of Jamie’s pieces of jewelry, each one unique, now is the time. We in Bluff, UT are at the edge of the epicenter of nowhere, and thankfully so, but there is only so much Jamie to go around!

When Navajo Holy People Made Horse

The Navajo Creation Story of Horse

Here we’d like to share with you a wonderful story, for stories jumped to life at the same time as paintings. This is the Navajo story of First Horse.

“When the Holy People first made the horse, it was a complete thing, but it would not come to life.  They tried to get it to rise up on its strong legs, but it would not rise. Caterpillar was asked to help. ‘How can I help?’ he asked.

“’You know,’ one of the Holy People said, ‘where the sacred flints are kept.’”

“’Yes, this is true. But I am pretty slow getting around.’”

“Then the Holy People prayed over Caterpillar and he became Butterfly. Swiftly he flew to the Mountain Where Flint Is Kept. After gathering four flints, he returned to the Holy People and put the flints into the hooves of the horse.

The great horse stirred, quivered, and came to life. Then it surged, leaped fully into life, struck the air with its hooves, and galloped off into the clouds.

“’Look,” a Holy Person said. ‘The horse makes the marks of Butterfly when it dances on its hooves!’ And it has been that way ever since.”

Navajo people believe that there are Five Horses of the Sun Father. And, they believe that they are a way of telling time, Navajo-style. White shell and pearl horses represent dawn, turquoise is noon, red shell is sunset, and jet or coal is night.

(Twin Rocks Trading Post would like to acknowledge the book: An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navajo Language, 1929; The Franciscan Fathers.)

Stop in at Twin Rocks Café. (You might be able to pick up a copy of the Father’s book.) After you’ve enjoyed your Navajo Taco, stroll out the door and down the path to the Twin Rocks Trading Post. We’d be happy to share paintings by L. Holiday with you – they’re a favorite at our southwest gallery.

Enjoy this day of horses and all things mystical and beautiful!

The Southwest Recipe for Navajo Frybread. Enjoy!

A recipe for Indian Frybread

Treat your Friends with this Recipe for Navajo Frybread.

When you tour the Southwest, you must include the four corners area. And, that visit should include Navajo Frybread. (We may be prejudiced, but we believe the frybread at the Twin Rocks Café, Bluff, UT,  is some of the best you’ll find.)

Whether you are a foodie from New York City or Los Angeles, or a Midwesterner taking a leisurely Southwest tour in your RV, you will fall in love with Navajo Frybread.  That’s a promise.

What do you do when you get back home and can’t find Indian Frybread at your corner deli?   Here we present you with a recipe for frybread.  Hooray!

  • Ingredients: 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp. salt 1 cup warm water 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
  • Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Pour in the warm water and mix.
  • Knead the dough until it is soft (but not sticky), and add a little more flour or water as needed. Put the dough in a bowl, cover it, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 12 balls, and roll each one until it is about 5 inches across.  (This is totally up to you – you may want to go for a piece of frybread that is twice that size.  Make yourself happy!)  Whatever size you make the circles, the dough should be about ¼ of an inch thick.  Now, poke a small hole in the center.
  • Heat your oil in a deep and, preferably, heavy pan.  A large cast iron skillet works well.  The temperature of the oil should be about 375 degrees.  Drop the bread, just one at a time, into the hot oil and turn when the frybread is gold.   Serve with butter or, our personal favorite, a good, local honey.  Or use the frybread as a base to make a Navajo taco.

Warning:  Indian Frybread is addictive.  Enjoy, and treat your friends to the food you discovered while traveling through the Southwest!