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FATHER SKY AND MOTHER EARTH - U.S. Navajo

FATHER SKY AND MOTHER EARTH - U.S. Navajo
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Framed Sand Painting
24" X 36"

In the Navajo culture, the first creations of the Great Spirit were Father Sky and Mother Earth. From Sky came lightening and rain as shown on his neck, the Milky Way indicated by the crisscross bands across his arms, the stars and planets floating within his torso and clouds and wind shown on his right and left legs. From earth came the mountains shown on her neck, the lakes and plains and fields stretching across her arms, the sun's warmth indicated on the upper torso and fertility and growth shown on the lower torso. The crossed hands and feet signify the union of heaven and earth and a spiritual sky and physical earth are joined head to head by the horizon. The red, black, yellow and white of their horns are the four elements. The same colors on the faces are the four ages of man; infancy, youth, maturity and old age. Repeated again in the four circles, they are the four cardinal points on the compass and again in the hands, the four seasons of the year. Mineral feeds vegetable and mineral feeds animal only to be finally claimed by mineral, shown by the ovals below the two figures. And finally, the beautiful Rainbow Spirit entwines both with the goodness and protection of its optimism while the bat protects the entrance from evil.
  
Sand Painting: A Navajo ceremonial art which colored powders made from minerals and organic materials are used. Sand Painters created their mosaics on the floor of a lodge and they depicted legendary beings and natural phenomena.

Artist Analysis: This was created in the late 70's intended for the House of Legends Museum collection. I chose to use a different medium than "Mosaic Intarsia" and used the "traditional" method of sand painting because that is what the Indians used.


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