Object photography

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Object description

  • Bruce Hathale (Diné (Navajo))
  • Big Gods on Whirling Logs, Big Godway. Guardian of Two Sunflower Plants., early 1990s
  • Acrylic on linen
  • New Mexico, United States
  • image H: 27 in, W: 21 5/8 in (image H: 68.6 cm)
  • Gift from James and Margie Krebs Collection of Native American Art, 2001
  • E301826
  • Used to train apprentice Navajo medicine men in ceremonial sandpainting
  • Sometimes called a "memory painting"

True sandpaintings-ephemeral images made of colored sand-depict sacred images for restorative Navajo ceremonies. Reproductions like this one are often created for sale, with design changes that render them secular and harmless. Sandpaintings (including reproductions) preserve private ritual knowledge between different generations, and between teacher and protégé.