Mother Earth and Father Sky Navajo Pictorial Rug [SOLD]


+ Add to my watchlist Forward to Friend

Weaver Unknown

This Navajo pictorial rug appears to date from the last quarter of the twentieth century.  It is a representation of the Diné holy people Mother Earth and Father Sky.  As we do on items of Navajo ceremonial life, we queried our Diné friend about the two figures.  His comments are:

“The figures both wear face masks representing the male shooting-way ceremony. The black body represents Father Sky, within him depicting the star constellation and both sun and moon. Beside him is Mother Earth, her body represents the aspects of the earth, the plants, roots, water, and the ground. They hold in each hand baskets containing pollen, a necessity of life. Surrounding the figures is a guardian rainbow."

The grey background wool would have been created by hand carding wool from black and white sheep.  The various colors in the textile would have been achieved by commercial dye of the native sheep wool.

To the Diné of the Navajo Nation, Mother Earth and Father Sky, who represent female and male, equally provide all that is needed to live and prosper on earth. Many Diné ceremonies, prayers, and songs are based on maintaining balance and harmony between Mother Earth and Father Sky.

Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Mother Earth and Father Sky Navajo Pictorial Rug is from the estate of a Santa Fe resident

Recommended Reading: THE NAVAJO WEAVING TRADITION 1650 to the Present by Alice Kaufman and Christopher Selser

Relative Links: textilesNavajo Nation

Close up view of a section of this painting.

Weaver Unknown
C4459B-rug.jpgC4459B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.