Four Seasons/Tree of Life Basket by Elsie Holiday (#453)

Four Seasons/Tree of Life Basket by Elsie Holiday
Four Seasons/Tree of Life Basket by Elsie Holiday
Four Seasons/Tree of Life Basket by Elsie Holiday

Four Seasons/Tree of Life Basket by Elsie Holiday (#453)

Signature of Navajo Basket Weaver Elsie Holiday


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16 1/2"

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Winter, spring, summer, and fall---that just about covers it all. Approximately ten years ago, Elsie Holiday wove this basket that embraces the four seasons in grand fashion. It has recently come back to us as part of an estate sale. Elsie is a master artist when it comes to basketry. Her quality of stitch, symmetry, and design make her one of the best weavers ever. In the Navajo culture, Changing Woman (aka Mother Earth) controls the seasons and all green growing things. The Tree of Life symbolizes the Native American connection to the past, personal progress, and the embracing, cultivating nature of tradition and culture. There is a whole lot of meaning woven into this basket, and we are happy to see it once more.

About the artist:

Navajo Basket Weaver Elsie Holiday

Considered one of the best Navajo basket weavers, Elsie Stone Holiday married into the famed Douglas Mesa family of weavers. Weaving baskets has become almost an addiction for her. "When I go two or three days without weaving I get anxious to get started again," she says. She weaves 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. "Sometimes I think, 'How long can this last?'", she wistfully states, but for now she is content with her art, finding immense satisfaction in creating premier quality baskets.

See full biography | See all items by Elsie Holiday

Related categories:

Navajo Baskets See all items in this category

Related legends:

Four Directions
Reichard (1950:187-203) described the significance of several colors. White (ligai) is the color of White Dawn in the east and apparently differentiates the naturally sacred from the profane (black or red). Blue (dootlizh) signifies the bright Blue Sky of day and belongs to the south. Yellow (litso) represents fructification because of its association with yellow pollen; belonging to the west, this color represents the Yellow Evening Light of sunset? 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

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 December 13, 2018.

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