Tree of Life with Animals Weaving by Helena Begay (#75)

Tree of Life with Animals Weaving by Helena Begay
Tree of Life with Animals Weaving by Helena Begay
Tree of Life with Animals Weaving by Helena Begay

Tree of Life with Animals Weaving by Helena Begay (#75)


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28" x 30"

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In this very fine barnyard menagerie, a classic Tree of Life tapestry, weaver Helena Begay of Sweetwater, Arizona, has added additional characters to the usual corn stalk, birds, and bees. Across the bottom of the weaving, horned toads, bunnies, and butterfly join in the composition. Helena is a part of a family of weavers who have embraced the pictorial Navajo tapestries.

About the artist:

Helena Begay See all items by Helena Begay

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Navajo Rugs See all items in this category

Related legends:

Small Birds
Ayazh, or ayazh altqas'ai, various small birds, is a general name for the smaller varicolored birds which have no special name. They are said to have been produced from the feathers of the monstrous eagle, tsenahale'. Their feathers, and those of the blue and yellow bird are added to the ket'an, prayersticks, to the masks, and otherwise. More about this legend

Butterfly in Navajo Traditional Stories

Butterfly: Due to the natural beauty of its wings, Butterfly is often considered vain. Yet, in Navajo mythology, Butterfly brings the sacred flint to the hooves of the horse. In the legend of the diety, Butterfly Boy was cured of his vanity by being lightning struck with the axe of Rain Boy. After that, his head opened up and out of it came the butterflies of the world. The perishable dust of Butterfly's wings is sometimes thought to prove that such beauty is usually not durable.

More about this legend

Rabbit & Coyote
And so, it seems, he started out again. Suddenly, a Cottontail jumped up at his feet. In no time he overtook and caught it. "Wait, wait, wait, My Cousin, first let us tell each other something!" that Rabbit said. "No, you will run away from me!" Coyote said. "I will sit at your feet while we are telling each other," he said. "All right, then!" Coyote said. "What is it you are going to tell me?" Coyote asked. More about this legend

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life is one of the most unique and interesting of Navajo myths and legends. It is an interpretation of where the people came from, their beliefs in the progression and movement of life, connections with their surroundings and the involvement of their deities. It is a metaphor for who they are and the life they lead. At the base of the corn plant there is a symbol for the emergence or center of all things.

More about this legend

After the medicine woman told the people about the prayersticks she told them that there was a place in the underworld where two rivers crossed. It was called ni tqin'kae tsosi, fine fiber cotton (Indian hemp). There were two persons who brought the seed of that plant, they were spiders. They said that the people were to use the plant instead of skins for their clothing. So this seed was planted in the earth? More about this legend

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This site was last updated on June 14, 2019.

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