- Diné (Navajo) artist
- Wedding basket, before 1890
- Sumac, dye
- Southwestern United States
- H: 2 1/4 in, dia.: 12 1/2 in (H: 5.7 cm, dia.: 31.7 cm)
- Gift of Miss Bertha Kenny, 1960
- Decorated with symbols of origins and life stages
- Filled with cornmeal during wedding ceremonies
The symbols on this wedding basket relate to the continuity of life: the white center represents the Earth's emergence; the inner black steps are sacred mountains; the red coils are rays of the sun; and the outer steps are rain clouds. During a wedding ceremony, white and yellow cornmeal would fill the basket, signifying the blending of two lives.
This is a round, shallow, wedding basket made with a coil weave construction technique. The basket is made with undyed (natural color) split reeds ornamented with two bands of stepped pyramids of dark brown. There is a symbolic opening in the pattern that should always point East, based on Diné worldview.
- Wedded Bliss: The Marriage of Art and Ceremony, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.; April 26, 2008 through September 14, 2008