Tree of Life Weaving by Lena Begay (#06)

Tree of Life Weaving by Lena Begay
Tree of Life Weaving by Lena Begay
Tree of Life Weaving by Lena Begay

Tree of Life Weaving by Lena Begay (#06)


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30" x 46"

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Because of age-old taboos, it was not so many years ago that black background rugs were not woven by Navajo weavers. The color stands for strength, aggression, and war and was believed to attract such things. Thus, this fearful symbolism was not commonly used as a background in Native art. Lately, however, weavers have lost this inhibition and are more focused on asthetics. Weavers have discovered just how graphic black can be, and a renaissance has occurred. With a dynamic dark background, Lena Begay has incorporated vibrant colors and the deeply symbolic Tree of Life design to create an amazingly attractive weaving. 

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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

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 September 24, 2020.

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