Sandpainting - Beauty Way Navajo Weaving : Historic : GHT 2217

Sandpainting weavings are created by a small number of weavers.The skill has been passed down by Hosteen Klah, a powerful medicine man.  In this piece from the Beautyway Ceremony, the artist used germantown yarns for the bright colors, but used hand-carded, hand-spun native wool elsewhere.

The weaver intentionally create differences(mistakes)in this Sandpainting, so as it would not be perfect and disturb the gods.

Here are just a few change ups that were created.

Rainbow Guardian, Yei Be Chei dancers wearing masks are prominent.  If you look closely you'll see that the artist changed the mask colors, and the masks aren't consistently sized.  The dancers should have equal feathers in their headdresses, they don't.  (The white figure on the bottom end is the Talking god and he has a weasel medicine bag which would ordinarily be brown.  

The beautiful corn plant in the center of the image has corn which is tasseled, and has feathers hanging from the bottom leaves. The artist chose to place the corn plant in two baskets instead of just one. 

What other discrepancies can you find?

Here is an excerpt from the Beauty Way Ceremony:

With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk

This gorgeous weaving was featured in our Woven Holy People exhibit.  You can see the exhibit guide here. 

Style Sandpainting
Weaver Unknown Navajo
Date circa 1930s
Size 63" x 53" (5′3″ x 4’5″)
Item # GHT 2217
Learn more about Sandpainting weavings
Learn more about Yei and Yei Be Chei weavings

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A unique blend of history, Native American culture and storytelling make these weavings an art like no other.

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Type: Sandpainting

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