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Nineteenth Century Diné Very Large and Deep Basket - C4091F

Category: Baskets | Posted by Adobe Gallery Team Member | Fri, Jul 20th 2018, 1:30pm

Navajo Indian Basket - C4091FIt has become common knowledge that members of the Paiute Tribe have made ceremonial baskets for the Navajo for over a hundred years.  There are several reasons the Navajo turned to their northern neighbors for this favor. When the Diné were released from imprisonment by the government, they were poor and broken in spirit.  From the depths of poverty and humiliation, they turned to spirituality for salvation. They developed serious ceremonial functions that required strict adherence to ritual and rules.

One of the items developed in conjunction with this spirituality was a "ceremonial" basket needed by the medicine man to hold sacred corn meal, prayer feathers, medicines, stirring rods, flints, claws, colored earth, and other things as part of his ceremonial bundle.  Because of the importance to the ceremony of the basket, it was considered special. It was not allowed to touch the ground. The woman who made one had many restrictions placed on her. She was forbidden to have intercourse while making a basket, not allowed to be touched by anyone, kept in isolation to observe  dietary restriction, could not work while menstruating, and had to undergo ceremonial cleansing before and after making a basket. Her weaving materials had to be placed so nobody would step over them. It was then that the Navajo invited the Paiutes to make ceremonial baskets for their use, as they had no such restrictions.  Whiteford 1988:32



Navajo Indian Basket - C4091F




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