I was contacted a while back about permission to use one of the photos from our website in a book. I gave that permission and then forgot about it.
So I was surprised when we received a thank you note and complimentary copy of a lovely new book “Southwest Art Defined: An Illustrated Guide” by Margaret Moore Booker and published by Rio Nuevo Publishers.
It is a beautiful 11″ x 9 1/4″ hardbound book with dust jacket. Here is what the publisher says
Southwest Art Defined, by Santa Fe author Margaret Moore Booker, is now available! This beautiful hardcover book brings the traditional arts of the Southwest are brought together in one volume for the first time. Almost 500 comprehensive descriptions of Native American and Hispano art are accompanied by 370 full-color photographs of art from museums, galleries, and private collections. Lose yourself in the stunning pottery, textiles, jewelry, carvings, and architecture of the Southwest.
Is there a Native American symbol awarded to great warriors for valor, courage, and bravery in battle much like the Silver or Bronze Stars awarded to soldiers? If not, can you make a suggestion? Thank you very much.
A Lakota friend of mine sent me this. I hope it is helpful. You can browse our feather hair ties here. Feather Hair Ties. Paula
As Hurricane Sandy looms on the east cost of the US, I started noticing spirals everywhere.
The spiral is one of the oldest symbols used by humans. It appeared thousands of years ago in southwestern Native American tribal areas on cave walls and on ancient pottery.
Spirals to the Zunis and Puebloans represent water, wind and creatures associated with water such as snails and serpents.
It also represents man’s “ journey in search of the center”.
From Petroglyphs, Keam’s Canyon, Hopi Mesas, Arizona “It is a decoration of great frequency and consisting of single and double spirals. The single spiral is the symbol of Ho-bo-bo, the twister who manifests his power by the whirlwind. The myth explains that a stranger came among the people, when a great whirlwind blew all the vegetation from the surface of the earth and all the water from its courses. With a flint, he caught these symbols upon a rock, the etching of which is now in Keam’s Canyon. It is 17 inches long and 8 inches across. He told them he was the keeper of the breath. The whirlwind and the air which men breathe come from this keeper’s mouth.”
The spiral also symbolized a way of planting, starting at the center and moving out in circles as they planted. In Navajo it was called ha’oolmaaz
Be safe brothers and sisters.
I had a dream encounter with a fierce red horse that the pipe closely resembles, so I was stunned when I found the horse effigy pipe on your website and purchased it. Do you have any suggestions for a case I can carry the pipe and the 12″ stem in that would protect it? Thanks again, Jan
There is an article on this blog and our website The Sacred Pipe which describes use and storage of a pipe. Traditionally, once a pipe has been smoked and blessed, the pipe bowl is only joined to the stem for smoking. At all other times the bowl and stem are stored separately.
So for carrying your pipe, you can choose a bag big enough for your pipe bowl and smoking mixture and let the stem poke out the top of the bag. Some tie the stem along side the bag. There are also very long bags made just to carry the stem separately. It is all a matter of personal preference.
Here are some bags you might wish to consider for your pipe bowl.
My friend is interested in a native indian amulet or “charm” for protection against evil and bad luck. Would these medicine bags be appropriate? I specificially like the Crazy Horse bag with the gemstones, however, I am not sure about their spiritual powers or purpose. Would you please be able to direct me to the proper item that I could buy for my friend.
Thank you. IJ
Every person has their own belief system when it comes to good spirits and good luck so it is not so important what is used, but what one believes. Picking up a special stone can do more to change one’s luck than purchasing a lottery ticket !!
With that said, you know your friend and his or her habits and propensity to ceremony and ritual. Here are some ideas.
The Crazy Horse bag is very nice.
I’d highly recommend any of the bags made by Apache artist, Cynthia Whitehawk as she makes each of her items in ceremony and with great attention to detail. They are filled with a wonderful spirit already ! She acknowledges that each of us tends to be drawn to certain animals, stones or other healing spirits, so she makes many bags and shares her thoughts on the protective and healing powers of each totem. That is indicated at the bottom of each page describing the bag.
Carved Zuni fetishes can also be very powerful talismans – many are suitable to carry in a pocket or purse making them handy to hold or rub.
Some of these fetishes are available as pendants so they can be worn on a chain or leather choker.
A cross might be the perfect answer.
For those who are looking for good luck, such as would come from a finding a four leaf clover, there are Authentic Lucky Horseshoes.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to find the perfect item for your friend.
I have a few questions about dream catchers. My sister brought a couple back recently and quarantine insisted on irradiating them. That was fine until they folded all the feathers to pack them in the post! So, am I correct in assuming that you can just replace the feathers with new ones? I dont recall ever reading about any ritual observances during a dream catchers making (its a navajo one and I dont even know if dream catchers are traditional in that culture)? I dont know what kind of feathers they are – am I right that they cannot be eagle or hawk due to your laws, or are indigenes allowed to use them in their art? Is the type of feather used significant? Thanks Paula and have a nice day
Merideth from Australia
Eagle, hawk and many other types of feathers are illegal to own. Some Native Americans are allowed to use them in religious ceremony but can’t sell them alone or as part of a piece of artwork because non-registered Native Americans can’t posses them.
Here is an article about a recent court ruling.
To obtain eagle feathers for religious ceremonies, Native Americans can’t collect their own feathers. They must get them through a Federal Repository. We have one here in Denver which you can read about. It is very interesting.
So most NA artists use pea hen, turkey etc. and either use them as is or paint them to be faux eagle, faux hawk, owl etc.