"Thunderbirds Bringing the Rain" Miniature Sandpainting by Hosteen Etsitty (#043)

Miniature Sandpainting by Hosteen Etsitty
Miniature Sandpainting by Hosteen Etsitty


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8" x 8"

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Shiprock’s Hosteen Etsitty creates some of the most unusual miniature sandpaintings anywhere. Inspired by the ephemeral images depicting ancient gods and origin stories that are used as an integral part of Navajo healing chants, the images are created by trickling fine lines of colored sand through the thumb and forefinger onto a smooth board covered in glue. The larger image, in a tan wooden frame, depicts Thunderbirds Bringing the Rain. The smaller picture, in a brown frame, shows the Buffalo Trails to Water.

About the artist:

Hosteen Etsitty

Hosteen grew up in Shiprock, New Mexico on the Navajo reservation and first learned the art of Navajo Sandpainting at the age of 17 from elders within the spiritual community.  Since then, Hosteen has been perfecting the art of Navajo Sandpainting for more than 25 years.  Navajo Sandpaintings are an integral part of the Navajo culture and Navajo healing ceremonies conducted by Navajo Medicine Men or Women, who create temporary traditional sandpaintings on the Hogan dirt floor, using various natural colors of sand to create paintings depicting Navajo deities, animals, plants, planetary beings, astronomical beings and other earthly and universal beings depicted in Navajo Creation stories.  Navajo sanpaintings are used to absorb the negative or evil spirits that may reside within a person who is ill or who is in  need of their spirit being brought back into balance and harmony within themselves and their surroundings, in mind, body and spirit, to once again become one with the universe and the Creator.  At the completion of the ceremony, the temporary sandpainting is erased and the sand used is gathered together and buried toward the north, where Navajos believe the negative spirits dwell.

See full biography | See all items by Hosteen Etsitty

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Folk Art See all items in this category

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This site was last updated on October 21, 2020.

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