Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today I created an excursion to the Diné or Navajo. A few weeks back I found some really beautiful sandpaintings and got again intriged by them again. So I have been reading a few evenings about their history and art and created my version of a sandpainting.

The sandpaintings' principal colors-white, blue, yellow, and black-remind Navajos of the Four Sacred Mountains bordering their traditional homeland. These mountains and some of their associations are:

White Shell Mountain (Sierra Blanca Peak, Colorado): white-east-dawn

Turquoise Mountain (Mount Taylor, New Mexico): blue-south-day

Abalone Shell Mountain (Mount Humphreys, Arizona): yellow-west-twilight

Coal Mountain (Hesperus Peak, Colorado): black-north-darkness

The bird is the liason between the earth, the red colour, and the spirit world. The bird is embroidered in the same colours and the body is filled with fly-stitches. Thank you Anneli for this idea.

Their are a number of explanations on the internet I choose this one from the collectorsguide, if it is the wrong one please let me know.

Have a colourful day and may all your relations walk with you.



Blue Mountains Mary said...

I love the symbolism and your explanation E and the result is so pretty!

Anneli/Bockfilz said...

Dear Elizabeth, your textile Navajo sandpaintings are so beautiful and a wonderful idea! Your embroidery is so perfect and neat!
Have you considered embroidering on woolen cloth or wool felt instead of acrylic - this natural material often gives a certain warmth to the piece which goes well with native or tribal motives.

Pursuing Art... said...

I love this piece Elizabeth! The symbolism and colors are great and I adore the bird and the fly stitch! It's BEAUTIFUL! ~Lisa ;-)