The Navajo Are Centrally Located In The Southwestern United

1165 WordsApr 27, 20175 Pages
The Navajo are centrally located in the Southwestern United States. Even though their culture is in America, it differs from the culture of Western America. The difference lies in everything from religion to personal expression. In fact, a significant portion of personal expression done by Navajo individuals is shown through their artwork. The artwork is a not only a representation of the Navajo lifestyle, but their significance to history. The Navajo artwork that will be discussed includes artforms such as sand painting, rugs, pottery, and silver making; these will be defined and the technique and/or creative process will be explained as well. Sand painting is a unique and symbolic art form originating with the Holy People, was and still…show more content…
Practitioners believe sitting on the sand painting helps the patient to absorb spiritual power, while in turn the Holy People will absorb the illness and take it away. Afterward, when the sand painting has served its purpose, it is considered to be toxic, since it has absorbed the illness. For this reason, the painting is destroyed. Because of the sacred nature of the ceremonies, the sand paintings are begun, finished, used and destroyed within 12 hours. The colors for the painting are usually accomplished with naturally colored sand, such as crushed gypsum (white), yellow ochre, red sandstone, charcoal and a mixture of charcoal and gypsum (blue). Other coloring agents include corn meal, flower pollen, or powdered roots and bark. Sand paintings are not the only artforms created by the Navajo, there are also rugs. Navajos came to the southwest with their own weaving traditions; however, they learned to weave cotton on upright looms from Pueblo peoples. Navajo women believe the art of weaving was taught by Spider Woman, who constructed a loom according to directions given by the Holy People. By the 18th century the Navajos had begun to import Bayeta red yarn to supplement local black, grey, and white wool, as well as wool dyed with indigo. Using an upright loom, the Navajos made extremely fine utilitarian blankets that were collected by Ute and Plains Indians. These Chief 's Blankets were characterized by horizontal stripes and minimal patterning in

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