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
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