02 November 2008

Manic Monday - Colorful








Recently one of my favorite authors passed away. Tony Hillerman wrote mysteries. What made them different was the setting and the incorporation of a culture that the average reader might never encounter.

The cases of Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee have given thousands of readers an insight into the cultural milieu of the Indian peoples of the Southwest, particularly the Navajo. Hillerman has always been extremely careful, making no claims for insider knowledge (he is a white man who grew up with Indians in Oklahoma) and maintaining respect and courtesy toward the privacy of the tribes his books focus on.

Blended within the mysteries are references to rituals and traditions. One of the most colorful practices used are the sand paintings. While these are tied in with the philosophical beliefs of the Navajo, they are also expressions of artistry of a talented people. Usually only temporary for the ritual for which they are created only to be wiped away by the forces of nature, now artists have found a way to preserve the designs. To buy or just view some of these wonderful paintings, here are the artists of Shiprock



Go to Manic Monday for information on how to participate.

16 comments:

Border Explorer said...

I had not heard of Hillerman's death. I, too, have read many of his books and appreciate him as a writer and as a respectful person.

I appreciated learning about sand painting from this post and the video.

earthlingorgeous said...

Wow I not heard about his death too. But thanks for the info and everything in here. Those are lovely sand paintings! Thanks for this post! Mine is here.

anthonynorth said...

Another interesting post. Such rituals and beliefs have always fascinated me.

Greyscale Territory said...

These sand paintings sound a little like the sand mandalas that the Tibetan monks create until the winds of change erase them! Interesting post!

Jamie said...

For those interested in the beautiful Tibetan mandalas, you can see some of them here

crazy working mom said...

I have always thought that their traditions and culture was amazing! Very nice colorful post.


My Colorful Contribution.

Sherry said...

What a great post. I can't believe I missed hearing about Hillerman's death. I love his books.

Parlancheq said...

Wow, very cool. I have seen this type of thing done by Tibetan monks but didn't realize it was practiced by the Navajo as well.

My Autism Insights said...

I was also unaware of, yet saddened by Hillerman's death.

Beautiful video.

Linda said...

I've always found the Native American culture to be highly fascinating as everything they do is so earth-related while a lot of our cultures just take the earth for granted.

Great post for the theme this week!

Daily Panic said...

Thanks for sharing!

maryt/theteach said...

Tony Hillerman was a great loss! I saw sand painting of the American Indians when I was in Arizona many years ago... They are beautiful! :)

Alice said...

This is a really fabulous post, Jamie. I love the sand art.

Reba @ Reba’s Run

Reba said...

I like this woofenderful post, Ms. Jamie.

Big puppy kisses, Reba @ Reba’s Run

Alice said...

oopppssss.... I see I put the wrong signature on the bottom of my comment above. "Somepup" has been playing with my computer I see.

Alice at I Was Born2Cree8

Travis said...

I didn't know Mr Hillerman had died. I've read one of his Jim Chee novels and really enjoyed it.

I may have to go back and pick up a few more.

The sand paintings are wonderful. My step dad is an amateur scholar of the southwestern Indian cultures. He has improved my appreciation for the culture of those peoples.

Thanks for sharing this today.