Fire Basket by Chris Johnson (#52)

Fire Basket by Chris Johnson
Fire Basket by Chris Johnson
Fire Basket by Chris Johnson

Fire Basket by Chris Johnson (#52)


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With this basket, Chris Johnson shares his close association with home and family. In the culture of the Navajo, the fire pit is the center of their home life. A lit hearth provides warmth in the winter, along with a comfortable place to rest around and tell cultural stories and mythological tales of high adventure. Much of the family’s cooking time, eating, and social life is spent around the small pyre as well. The fire also figures in just about every ceremonial aspect of the culture. In a nutshell, flame and cinders within a fire pit can be described as the center of a Navajo's personal universe. With his incredibly small and tight weave, along with his wonderfully symmetrical patterning, Chris has depicted the fire in his home hearth to represent just how close he feels to the people most important to him.

About the artist:

Chris Johnson See all items by Chris Johnson

Related categories:

Navajo Baskets See all items in this category

Related legends:

Fire God
Fire God: Deity symbol for Man's use of fire. In the Navajo creation stories, Fire God overpowers the deities who rule water. This may be seen as Man's ability to use nature in a positive way rather than be ruled by it? More about this legend

Fire also figures ceremonially, and is then sometimes referred to as "the pokers," from the leading feature of placing pokers at the cardinal points around the fire. Heaps of firewood are placed at each side of the entrance inside the hogan, which is then closed with an additional blanket hanging in front of the ordinary blanket curtain? More about this legend

Navajo Basketry

Basketry is a woman's industry, which is also pursued by the nadle (he changes), hermaphrodites, or men skilled in the arts and industries of both men and women. Basketry, however, is not classified with textile fabrics (yistl'o), but with sewing (nalkhad). It is of interest also that, while the basket is in progress, the sewer is untouched and avoided by the members of her family?

More about this legend

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This site was last updated on June 25, 2019.

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