Earth is My Mother, Sky is My Father
Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting
To the Navajo, sandpaintings are sacred, living entities that reflect the interconnectedness of all living beings - humans, plants, stars, animals, and mountains. This book explores the circularity of Navajo thought in analyses of sandpaintings, Navajo chantway myths, and stories reflected in the celestial constellations. Beginning with an introduction to Navajo history and ethnography, the author explores the spiritual world of the Navajo, their ceremonial practices, and their conceptions of time and stellar motion. The Navajo depict the heavens in a group of sacred sandpaintings, and Griffin-Pierce shows how these images not only communicate the temporal and spatial dimensions of the Navajo universe but also present, in visual form, Navajo ideas about relationships among nature, self, and society. Beautifully illustrated by the author, this well-documented book is based on six years of fieldwork with Navajo chanters and on the author's twenty-year friendship with a Navajo family. Earth Is My Mother, Sky Is My Father is an engaging study for anyone who wants to better understand modern Navajo philosophy and sacred practices.
236 pp ~ illustrated — ©1995