Weaving a Revolution: Navajo Baskets at NHMU

NHMUbaskets_600Weaving a Revolution: A Celebration of Contemporary Navajo Baskets is the story of a design revolution that has been under way for the past 30 years along the Utah Strip of the Navajo reservation. A cluster of families—the Blacks, Bitsinnies, and Rocks—quietly continued the Navajo tradition of ceremonial basket-making generations after basketry died out elsewhere in the region.

Today, the families make traditional ceremonial baskets as they always have, but also create an explosion of design and imagery enthusiastically embraced by both the international art market and fellow Navajos who are aware of this work. Swirling with geometric patterns, stylized plants and animals, and the sacred beings of origin stories, the baskets pay tribute to the past, preserve tradition, and honor creativity. The exhibit continues through April 12. Remember—museum admission is always free for U faculty, staff, and students with a UCard. Find more information on this exhibit here.

 

Life, History and Metaphor: Navajo Ceremonial Baskets
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Swaner Forum, fifth floor

Master basket weaver Mary Black says, “Each ceremonial basket has a story. If we stop making the baskets, we lose the stories.” As one of several special presentations planned during the exhibition, Georgiana Kennedy Simpson will explore the role of the Navajo ceremonial basket in providing a sacred space while giving visual cues about one’s life, the history of the Navajo people, and a mnemonic representation of the Navajo world. Read more about her presentation here.

 

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