Navajo Sand Painting – Four Sacred Plants and Turtle


I bought a beautiful Navajo Sand painting about 10 years ago, it is
of the Four Sacred Plants with a turtle between each plant. This Sand
Painting will hang in my bedroom after I finish a quilt to go with
it. I am looking for the Navajo Name for this sand painting, I would
like to use the name also for my quilt. Then center of my quilt is
the design taking from the sand painting, and I have designed a
border with turtles.
I hope you can help me, if you can’t could you direct me to a site
that might be able to help with this Navajo Sand Painting name.
Thanks
Karen

Hi Karen,
The four sacred plants are corn, bean, squash and tobacco.
Turtle represents long life and offers protective and healing powers.
These symbols are used in a variety of ways in sandpaintings and woven rugs.
There are somewhere between 600-1000 sandpainting designs.
Sometimes the name and artist are written on the back – have you looked there?
If not, if it is at all possible, contact the artist or agent you purchased the painting from. That would be the very best way to determine the name.
I don’t know of a site off the top of my head where you could ask the name of a painting but if you decide to go that route, I’d take a good photo of the painting and have it at the ready.
Then google “Navajo sand paintings” and you will see that there are quite a number of dealers that seem quite knowledgeable. I’d write them a similar note to the one you wrote me and if they reply, ask if you could send them the photo. As it has been said, “A photo is worth a thousand words” and that might help a knowledgeable expert narrow things down for you.
Also by posting your question on this blog, it might be possible that someone would read it and answer here !
Best of luck with your beautiful painting and quilt.


One thought on “Navajo Sand Painting – Four Sacred Plants and Turtle

  1. Hi there. I also have a sand painting with 4 sacred plants. I do believe that you are right with the plants. Mine is signed on the back and has a female yei. Interesting how the interpretation is on them.

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