Navajo Ceremonial Baskets: Sacred Symbols, Sacred Space
This well-documented work, beautifully illustrated with over 100 full color photographs of baskets, weavers, and related objects, details the history, origins, and meanings of these creations.
Included are detailed color photographs of vintage and modern baskets, portraits of award-winning basket weavers and their work, a section honoring a new generation of Navajo weavers, tips about the etiquette and safekeeping of ceremonial baskets, in-depth interviews with Navajo medicine men, and colorful takes of Kicking Rock Man, Changing Woman, Monster Slayer, and their role in the origin of the baskets.
Don’t wait, get this book! It has it all going on, and it’s also available on e-readers.
Georgiana Kennedy Simpson of Twin Rocks Trading Post of Bluff, UT describes this Navajo Concho Belt.
Geogiana (Jana) Simpson knows her stuff. Her dad, about to turn 100 years old, is a trader who is still going strong in Gallup, NM., where Jana grew up. Like the Navajo artists, she learned her trade while she was growing up.
Thank you, Jana, for beinging so many innovations to Twin Rocks, and recognizing beauty!
Georgiana Kennedy Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post interviews Navajo Artist Leland Holiday.
Leland Holiday paints on boards. They are bright, magical, and as soon as one comes in the door, out it goes!
We love Leland’s sense of color and play.
Barry Simpson from Twin Rocks Trading Post describes this rare Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet.
Listen, it is quite a gem, in more ways than one.
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…)
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.
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!