Dennis Hathale

Dennis Hathale

Memory paintings, also known as memory aids, are paintings on muslin (bedsheets stained with the local red sand to give them the right color). They originated as a means of memorizing the multitude of ceremonies a medicineman must learn. There are old references to these aids being drawn on buckskin and rolled out when the ceremony needed to be performed. When the Spanish & Anglo settlers first appeared in the American Southwest, the old medicin men decided to commit the designs to memory rather than chance losing the power of the painting to outside influences.

Roger Hathale, father of Dennis Hathale, recreated on muslin ceremonies he was attempting to learn in order to become a medicineman, which introduced these drawings of the healing sandpaintings to Dennis as a young child. Dennis began using these "memory aids" to create paintings. Thus "Memory Paintings" came into being.

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This site was last updated on September 18, 2020.

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