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  • Increasing differentiation and complexity; 1. oriented towards a single cosmos; maintenance of personal, social, and cosmic harmony with attaining specific goods; time out of time, an “everywhen”; identification, participation, acting out;church and society are one; 2. mythical beings more objectified; actively a controlling the world; gods; monistic worldview; men, subjects, gods, objects; communication between; hierarchically organized; divine king; individual-soceity merged in a natural-divine cosmos; rival groups, rival deities; 3. transcendental, world-rejection, strongly dualistic, above and below worlds, Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, good and evil, focus on life in another realm; goal of salvation, demythologization; monotheistic, universalistic; Buddhism: nature of man, greed, anger, must escape, Hebrew prophets: sin, heedlessness of God, obedience to Him; Islam: ungrateful man who is careless of divine compassion, submission to will of God; new religious elite claims direction relation to the divine; political and religious leadership; 4. collapse of hierarchical structuring, world-aceepting; Reformation; monks, sheiks, ascetics before; direct relation between individual and transcendent reality; antiritualist interpretation; faith! – an internal quality of person; Martin Luther; 5. personalization of the sacred, God; responsibility for the self;
  • Increasing differentiation and complexity; 1. oriented towards a single cosmos; maintenance of personal, social, and cosmic harmony with attaining specific goods; time out of time, an “everywhen”; identification, participation, acting out;church and society are one; 2. mythical beings more objectified; actively a controlling the world; gods; monistic worldview; men, subjects, gods, objects; communication between; hierarchically organized; divine king; individual-soceity merged in a natural-divine cosmos; rival groups, rival deities; 3. transcendental, world-rejection, strongly dualistic, above and below worlds, Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, good and evil, focus on life in another realm; goal of salvation, demythologization; monotheistic, universalistic; Buddhism: nature of man, greed, anger, must escape, Hebrew prophets: sin, heedlessness of God, obedience to Him; Islam: ungrateful man who is careless of divine compassion, submission to will of God; new religious elite claims direction relation to the divine; political and religious leadership; 4. collapse of hierarchical structuring, world-aceepting; Reformation; monks, sheiks, ascetics before; direct relation between individual and transcendent reality; antiritualist interpretation; faith! – an internal quality of person; Martin Luther; 5. personalization of the sacred, God; responsibility for the self;
  • Klamath, HG in Oregon Saw clouds obscuring the moon: Muash, the south wind, was trying to kill the moon, got resurrected in the end
  • The west wind was emitted by a farting dwarf-woman, about 30 inches tall, who wore a buckskin dress and hay (form of rock on a nearby mountain); blow mosquitoes away from the Pelican Bay; Whirwinds were driven by an internal spirit, Shukash S controlled by Tchitchatsa-ash or “Big Bely” whose stomach housed bones that rattled
  • Coyote housed evil spirits, one species of bird could make snow, and another fog Animal spirits coulh help the Klamath cure disease, spirit: Yayaya-ash, form of one-legged man, and lead a medicine man to the home of the animal spirits
  • Objects of dread and abomination The Walbiri, in slight contrast, connected with being through “their relationship to ‘country’ – to locations to which they had a a particular ancestral affiliation – because they believed that they had themselves come from their country and would after death return to it” (Bellah 147). They have a sense of "ubeity" or "thereness," that “so obliterates time that in the Dreaming, past, present, and future are not differentiated: there is only…’everywhen’ (Bellah 148). The Walbiri uphold this "thereness" with the idea that “there is no single locality that focalizes all the others. Walbiri do not really give conceptual shape to the world as a whole[...] but conceive of it in terms of networks of places linked by paths” (Bellah 148). These paths are linked by “scattered guruwari, fertility powers or powers of generation” left by Ancestral Beings, that impregnate women “so that their children have the spirit of the Ancestral Being” (Bellah 150).In this way, the Walbiri are tied “to kin, to ‘country’ – particular estates of land- and to Dreamings. One is born with the responsibilities and obligations which these inheritances carry” (Bellah 150). We start to see the development of Walbiri concepts in association with land and being. And so it follows that “‘owning’ a site does not mean exclusive rights to its economic exploitations; on the contrary, it means the obligation to maintain its fertility for the use of all” (Bellah 152). As “once place is lost, or even threatened, there is a ‘fall’ into time and history, the glove no longer fits, and the yearning for another time, another place begins” (Bellah 153). This reconnection and commitment to community "everywhen" and everywhere provides a “‘complementary opposition’ that allows the [Walbiri] to avoid our proclivity toward ever greater and ultimately self-destructive expansion” (Bellah 156). And while there is no “moral code,” there exist “stories and[...]examples of how to act and not to act, but they vary from group to group and their level of abstraction is minimal” (158). The Walbiri pay their respects both to their community and individual thought. But, it is mainly in the Blessingway ceremony that we see this connection. Through the Blessingway ceremony, which focuses on song, the Navajo reconnect with ancestral powers. It tells than men must cry out to Wakantanka, or the "Great spirit"
  • Kmukamtch, who inhabited the sun, created the world, then created the Klamath thmeselves (out of purple berry), and continued to sustain them Temper: burning pitch
  • Increasing differentiation and complexity; 1. oriented towards a single cosmos; maintenance of personal, social, and cosmic harmony with attaining specific goods; time out of time, an “everywhen”; identification, participation, acting out;church and society are one; 2. mythical beings more objectified; actively a controlling the world; gods; monistic worldview; men, subjects, gods, objects; communication between; hierarchically organized; divine king; individual-soceity merged in a natural-divine cosmos; rival groups, rival deities; 3. transcendental, world-rejection, strongly dualistic, above and below worlds, Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, good and evil, focus on life in another realm; goal of salvation, demythologization; monotheistic, universalistic; Buddhism: nature of man, greed, anger, must escape, Hebrew prophets: sin, heedlessness of God, obedience to Him; Islam: ungrateful man who is careless of divine compassion, submission to will of God; new religious elite claims direction relation to the divine; political and religious leadership; 4. collapse of hierarchical structuring, world-aceepting; Reformation; monks, sheiks, ascetics before; direct relation between individual and transcendent reality; antiritualist interpretation; faith! – an internal quality of person; Martin Luther; 5. personalization of the sacred, God; responsibility for the self;
  • Increasing differentiation and complexity; 1. oriented towards a single cosmos; maintenance of personal, social, and cosmic harmony with attaining specific goods; time out of time, an “everywhen”; identification, participation, acting out;church and society are one; 2. mythical beings more objectified; actively a controlling the world; gods; monistic worldview; men, subjects, gods, objects; communication between; hierarchically organized; divine king; individual-soceity merged in a natural-divine cosmos; rival groups, rival deities; 3. transcendental, world-rejection, strongly dualistic, above and below worlds, Heaven and Hell, God and Satan, good and evil, focus on life in another realm; goal of salvation, demythologization; monotheistic, universalistic; Buddhism: nature of man, greed, anger, must escape, Hebrew prophets: sin, heedlessness of God, obedience to Him; Islam: ungrateful man who is careless of divine compassion, submission to will of God; new religious elite claims direction relation to the divine; political and religious leadership; 4. collapse of hierarchical structuring, world-aceepting; Reformation; monks, sheiks, ascetics before; direct relation between individual and transcendent reality; antiritualist interpretation; faith! – an internal quality of person; Martin Luther; 5. personalization of the sacred, God; responsibility for the self;
  • The Sundance (ashkisshe) is structurally similar to the ritual of the vision quest. In both instances, baaattaakuuo, the making of a private vow to Akbaatatdia, precedes participation. The vow expresses the needs of an orphaned individual. Fasting (bilisshiissannee) is the means of sacrifice in both rituals, and if an individual is sincere (diakaashe), a vision and adoption by the Iilapxe may transpire. The ritual processes for both the Sundance and the fast focus on the individual sacrifice and spiritual attainment.While the fast is entirely an individual and private endeavor, however, the Sundance is an aggregate of individual expressions, dramatically demonstrating concern and love for family, tribe, and humanity. Ties with family and friends are reaffirmed and strengthened. A lodge is built, cattails are collected and given out, songs are sung, and a feast is prepared and served, all to those who offer their prayers and themselves in the Sundance. The prayers offered during the sunrise ceremony may be directed at the welfare of a family member, of an entire family, of all apsaalooke, or of all people during the Sundance. The preparation for a Sundance are extensive and have become more so in recent years, with two and occasionally three Sundances being held on the reservation each summer. First a sponsor for the Sundance comes forward after having vowed (baaattaakuuo) to “put up” a dance. This usually happens at the conclusion of one Sundance or at a prayer meeting held the winter before the announced time. Usually after the first spring thunder, a ceremony is held at the site of the Sundance. Sweet cedar is burned and a prayer is offered to Isaahke to tell him where the center pole of the lodge will be placed. The prayer and the marking ceremony are considered the 1st of 4 “outdoor dances” held at the site. These “rehearsal dances” involve many future participants, including the sponsor. Then at the end of each “rehearsal dance” a feast is served for the participants. While the rehearsal dances take place at night, the days before a Sundance are designated for the cutting and gathering of the material needed to construct a lodge.The most subtle, but most fundamental ritual of the Sundance is chiwakiia (act of prayer). It is in prayer that a participants intentions are stated. The song of the singers, with the help from the smoke of tobacco, carry the words of the prayer to Akbaatatdia (The Maker.) Dancing is the primary activity for most Sundance participants and is considered the most spectacular dimension of the ceremony. Dancing like prayer is a personal endeavor, Each to their own pace, because by the 3rd and final day most participants are severely weakened from fasting and extreme heat of the day.The "driftwood" world view is revealed through the Crow Sundance. As the driftwood bundle is tightly interwoven, so are the Sundancers. Every participant is intertwined to the family for encouragement and refreshment, as well as the Lodge with it's center pole. Eagle Buffalo and Little Old Man. The bond becomes animated when the dancers sincerity is offered. In exchange a prayer is channeled, a vision received, or a cure obtained. A child is blessed with good health, or a dancer is guided by the buffalo during a vision. The meaning and the life-force of the transcendent are brought to bear upon and realized within the participants of the Sundance. In addition to the 12 monthly ceremonies, there is a three to four day sun dance that takes place each summer, usually in July. The preparation is too detailed to describe here, but involves building a lodge from a large cottonwood tree, with a forked branch in the middle. Twelve upright poles are placed about 13 paces from the center pole in a circular fashion, with rafter poles connecting the outside of the circle to the inner pole. From an aerial view, this appears as a wagon wheel with a hub in its center. This symbolizes the tribe (on the outside of the circle) trying to find their way straight to the center.  Fitzgerald told me about the preparations for the Crow sun dance, where the dancers greet each sunrise with sacred songs. Then the medicine man prays on behalf of the tribe, the world, and all creation. Throughout the day, 100 or more tribe members may dance to a drum beat, which represents the heart of the universe. The dancers fast for the duration of the ceremony. All their time is spent praying to the Creator and dancing toward and away from the center pole. The ceremony is brutal and causes many dancers to collapse, what Indians call taking a fall. This is followed by a vision, similar to what happens on a vision quest, only here many people are given guidance for the good of the tribe. In a sense, this is a community vision quest to renew the people and the bioregion.  On the second day, spectators from the tribe enter the lodge to be healed, bearing gifts of tobacco and incense. This is exactly the same process that takes place during the monthly prayer sun dance ceremonies, where harmful spiritual and physical manifestations are taken into an animal instrument and cast off to the wind, while prayers are said to heal the person.  Sun dance ceremonies typically end with a purification ceremony so that tribe members can re-enter the world refreshed and regenerated. Fitzgerald notes that this ritual is as concrete as it is symbolic, and related to me a time when he was in a purification lodge with Yellow Tail. While praying, Yellow Tail suddenly threw a scoop of water onto the very hot volcanic rocks. The force of the 212 degree steam knocked Fitzgerald down. He equated the feeling to that of an egg that sizzles when dropped onto a skillet. Yellow Tail continued to pray, and then asked Fitzgerald if he was alright. Fitzgerald leaned up onto his elbow to assure Yellow Tail that he was fine, feeling too embarrassed to admit that he was thrown onto the ground. At that moment, Fitzgerald realized that this was more than a symbolic death; there was an element of pure suffering accompanying this ceremony of death and renewal.  The dual meaning of this ritual is also expressed by Yellow Tail, who says, "When water is thrown onto the rocks, the heat does not merely cleanse us from the outside. It also goes all the way into our hearts. We know that we must suffer the ordeal of the heat in order to purify ourselves. In that way, we re-emerge from the sweat lodge at the end of the ceremony as new men who have been shown the light of the wisdom of our spiritual heritage for the first time. This allows us to participate in all of our daily tasks with the fresh remembrance of our position on earth, and our continuous obligation to walk on this earth in accordance with the sacred ways."
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Social order can be preserved without the power of religion.
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Classified according to the sounds they make A: sneak and spy T: effective trickster who can penetrate illusions and deceptions Th: dangerous J: violent bully, easily deceived T created human beings, speaks deceptively about himself, DP lived in close relation to PB PB focus of ritual life b/c of creative and dangerous qualities Festival take weeks even a year to prepare for Enactive PB, charm them, music calms and soothes them, contains power, singing powerful beings INTO BEING Itseke Power of community, danger and ambivalence Alterative society structure
  • Classified according to the sounds they make A: sneak and spy T: effective trickster who can penetrate illusions and deceptions Th: dangerous J: violent bully, easily deceived T created human beings, speaks deceptively about himself, DP lived in close relation to PB PB focus of ritual life b/c of creative and dangerous qualities Festival take weeks even a year to prepare for Enactive PB, charm them, music calms and soothes them, contains power, singing powerful beings INTO BEING Itseke Power of community, danger and ambivalence Alterative society structure
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Warrawarrup (5 km to the south) is a small village and home to the Harvey Trotting Track. It was originally planned as a growth area, but the growth failed to eventuate. The Anmatjere Community centres around the town ofTi Tree, Northern Territory, located approximately 200 km north of Alice Springs. The Stuart Highway runs through the centre of Ti Tree.On 1 July 2008, the region covered by the Anmatyere council was merged into the Central Desert Shire. Anmatjere Council has ceased to exist. This one that came along is called Emu Dreaming. From a place called Wawurrawurrpa. It came along and stopped along the way at Emu Bore Yeah those mob, those emus It came along to a place called Kurntarni. And that’s where they’re staying. Then they came to this place called Walyka. Over there and you can see their footprints there And then they went Eastwards to Ngarna They stayed there for a little while And that’s when they decided To call themselves Anmatjere They kept on going East Through to Yarluyungu Yeah, all those Emus Then they went underground And went back west to Wawurrwarrpa They left some of them back there That belongs to my father’s side Yeah that’s the one that came That Jangala he went there and brought them back from the East Napangardi is a guardian And Nakamarra and two Napanangkas And me I’m the keeper Along with my Nangala
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • The Emu in the Sky On a warm autumn evening, find a remote spot away from streetlights, and admire the spectacular band of the Milky Way stretching across the sky from horizon to horizon. Yolngu people tell us that it is a mighty river, and either side of it can be seen the campfires – nebulae – of their ancestors, next to the river. Now look at the Southern Cross (a possum in a tree, according to the Boorong people) and look at the dark cloud to the left of it. That cloud is called the Coalsack by astronomers, and is the birthplace of new stars, but to many Aboriginal groups, it’s one of the best known constellations – the Emu in the Sky. The Coalsack is the head of the emu. Stretching away to its left you should be able to see its long dark neck, round body, and finally the legs. It’s a spectacular sight – far better than the contrived European constellations that most of us grew up with. Once you’ve seen it, the Milky Way will never look the same again. .
  • The Emu in the Sky On a warm autumn evening, find a remote spot away from streetlights, and admire the spectacular band of the Milky Way stretching across the sky from horizon to horizon. Yolngu people tell us that it is a mighty river, and either side of it can be seen the campfires – nebulae – of their ancestors, next to the river. Now look at the Southern Cross (a possum in a tree, according to the Boorong people) and look at the dark cloud to the left of it. That cloud is called the Coalsack by astronomers, and is the birthplace of new stars, but to many Aboriginal groups, it’s one of the best known constellations – the Emu in the Sky. The Coalsack is the head of the emu. Stretching away to its left you should be able to see its long dark neck, round body, and finally the legs. It’s a spectacular sight – far better than the contrived European constellations that most of us grew up with. Once you’ve seen it, the Milky Way will never look the same again. .
  • Only recently has it been recognised that there is a deep vein of astronomy threading through many Aboriginal cultures. With hindsight, we shouldn’t be surprised. If you live in the outback of Australia, each night gazing up at the magnificent river of the Milky Way threading through the coal-black sky, then of course the night sky becomes important to you. It becomes an integral part of your understanding of the world. Most of the 400-odd Aboriginal cultures in Australia share the belief that the world was created in the “Dreaming” by ancestral spirits who have left symbols all around us to guide us in our lives. If you can understand these symbols, then you have a complete understanding of the world and of the meaning of life. It should come as no surprise that the night sky contains many of these symbols.
  • Only recently has it been recognised that there is a deep vein of astronomy threading through many Aboriginal cultures. With hindsight, we shouldn’t be surprised. If you live in the outback of Australia, each night gazing up at the magnificent river of the Milky Way threading through the coal-black sky, then of course the night sky becomes important to you. It becomes an integral part of your understanding of the world. Most of the 400-odd Aboriginal cultures in Australia share the belief that the world was created in the “Dreaming” by ancestral spirits who have left symbols all around us to guide us in our lives. If you can understand these symbols, then you have a complete understanding of the world and of the meaning of life. It should come as no surprise that the night sky contains many of these symbols.
  • For example, the appearance of a star or constellation can tell people when it’s time to move to a new food source. When the Mallee-fowl constellation (Lyra) appears in March, the Boorong people in Victoria know that the Mallee-fowl are about to build their nests, and when she disappears in October, the eggs are laid and are ready to be collected. The Yolngu people in Arnhem Land know that when the star Spica sets just after the Sun, the raika nuts are ready for harvesting, and the appearance of Scorpius once signalled the imminent arrival of the Macassan (Indonesian) fisherman.
  • Figure 3: A “bicycle-wheel” or “sunburst” petroglyph at Sturts Meadows, NSW. While this may represent the sun, or perhaps even a supernova, there is no additional information to support these interpretations, and so any interpretation remains speculative. Sometimes these astronomical themes are marked in stone. At the Ngaut Ngaut site in South Australia, tally-marks carved into a rock face, along with images of the Sun and Moon, are said to record Moon cycles. The Wurdi Youang Aboriginal stone ring in Victoria seems to point to the position on the horizon where the Sun sets at midsummer and midwinter day and the equinoxes. But what about the Sydney engravings? Is there any astronomy there? Shortly after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788, Governor Phillip explored the region and noted the friendliness of the Guringai people. Within two years, most had been killed by smallpox. Within a few decades, the remaining Guringai had been driven out by white settlers, and nobody thought to ask them about the engravings. Now, only the engravings themselves can tell their story. In most Aboriginal cultures, the Moon is male and the Sun is female. For example, a Yolngu oral tradition explains the motion of the Sun in terms of Walu, the Sun-woman. She lights a small fire each morning, producing the dawn, and decorates herself with red ochre, some of which spills onto the clouds, to create the red sunrise. Carrying a blazing torch made from a stringy-bark tree, she travels across the sky from east to west, creating daylight. At the western horizon, she extinguishes her torch, and travels back underground to her morning camp in the east.  An ethnographer was told "the Sun goes clear around the world" by a Yolngu man who illustrated this "by putting his hand over a box and under it and around again.” The Yolngu people call the Moon-man Ngalindi. The phases of the Moon are caused by Ngalindi being attacked by his wives, who chopped bits off him with their axes, reducing him from the fat full moon to the thin waning Moon, and eventually dying (the new Moon).  After staying dead for three days, he rose again, once more growing round and fat to become the full Moon, when his wives attacked him again.Yolngu culture also recognises that the tides are caused by the Moon, and that the height of the tides depends on the phases of the Moon. This is explained in terms of a complicated interaction between the rising Moon and the Sea, the Moon alternately filling and emptying, depending on its phase, as it rises through the ocean horizon. While it is dangerous to generalise from one Aboriginal culture (Yolngu) to others, there exist similarities that transcend Aboriginal cultures, such as the gender of the Sun and Moon, which are almost universally female and male respectively.Given these strong oral traditions, we might expect to find depictions of the Sun and Moon in Aboriginal rock art.  Obvious examples of solar images exist, such as those at Ngaut Ngaut, South Australia (Figure 3) and many more are surmised, such as the "bicycle wheel" or "sunburst" petroglyphs in the Panaramittee engravings at Sturts Meadows, NSW (Figure 4). However, the latter can entertain many interpretations, including a supernova, and caution is required when interpreting such images in the absence of cultural context.
  • Sometimes these astronomical themes are marked in stone. At the Ngaut Ngaut site in South Australia, tally-marks carved into a rock face, along with images of the Sun and Moon, are said to record Moon cycles. The Wurdi Youang Aboriginal stone ring in Victoria seems to point to the position on the horizon where the Sun sets at midsummer and midwinter day and the equinoxes. But what about the Sydney engravings? Is there any astronomy there? Shortly after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney in 1788, Governor Phillip explored the region and noted the friendliness of the Guringai people. Within two years, most had been killed by smallpox. Within a few decades, the remaining Guringai had been driven out by white settlers, and nobody thought to ask them about the engravings. Now, only the engravings themselves can tell their story. In most Aboriginal cultures, the Moon is male and the Sun is female. For example, a Yolngu oral tradition explains the motion of the Sun in terms of Walu, the Sun-woman. She lights a small fire each morning, producing the dawn, and decorates herself with red ochre, some of which spills onto the clouds, to create the red sunrise. Carrying a blazing torch made from a stringy-bark tree, she travels across the sky from east to west, creating daylight. At the western horizon, she extinguishes her torch, and travels back underground to her morning camp in the east.  An ethnographer was told "the Sun goes clear around the world" by a Yolngu man who illustrated this "by putting his hand over a box and under it and around again.” The Yolngu people call the Moon-man Ngalindi. The phases of the Moon are caused by Ngalindi being attacked by his wives, who chopped bits off him with their axes, reducing him from the fat full moon to the thin waning Moon, and eventually dying (the new Moon).  After staying dead for three days, he rose again, once more growing round and fat to become the full Moon, when his wives attacked him again.Yolngu culture also recognises that the tides are caused by the Moon, and that the height of the tides depends on the phases of the Moon. This is explained in terms of a complicated interaction between the rising Moon and the Sea, the Moon alternately filling and emptying, depending on its phase, as it rises through the ocean horizon. While it is dangerous to generalise from one Aboriginal culture (Yolngu) to others, there exist similarities that transcend Aboriginal cultures, such as the gender of the Sun and Moon, which are almost universally female and male respectively.Given these strong oral traditions, we might expect to find depictions of the Sun and Moon in Aboriginal rock art.  Obvious examples of solar images exist, such as those at Ngaut Ngaut, South Australia (Figure 3) and many more are surmised, such as the "bicycle wheel" or "sunburst" petroglyphs in the Panaramittee engravings at Sturts Meadows, NSW (Figure 4). However, the latter can entertain many interpretations, including a supernova, and caution is required when interpreting such images in the absence of cultural context.
  • The artist's country is Ngalikirlangu, north of Yuendumu where his father, Jangala lived. Large numbers of yankirri (emu ancestors) were travelling north and camped at Kunurrulypa and Ngunkurrlmanu, two deep soakages (naturally occurring wells). The emus ate yakajirri (bush raisins) that often grow near water. The bars represent spears and digging sticks, symbolic of men and women, the arrow-like motifs indicate the emus' tracks. The radiating lines represent jawujawu (intestines). Darby Jampijinpa Ross was born in the bush at Ngarliyikirlangu before contact with kartiya (non-Aboriginal) people. He grew up in the bush, hunting with his family. He survived the Coniston Massacre and travelled widely as a stockman.Renowned for his art, storytelling, knowledge of ceremonial law and of native flora and fauna, Jampijinpa is thought to be the oldest Warlpiri man alive.Jampijinpa began to paint with Warlukurlangu Artists in 1985 and is married to artist Ivy Napangardi Poulson. His work was included in the first exhibition of Yuendumu paintings at the Araluen Centre in Alice Springs in October 1985.Jampijinpa's country lies to the north of Yuendumu and his Dreamings are yankirri (emu), wardilyka (bush turkey) and pamapardu (flying ant) but he also paints ngapa (water).In the early 1990s he staged-managed a huge Jardiwanpa canvas commissioned for inclusion in the travelling exhibition Aratjara: Art of the First Australians, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany, 1993.His work was also included in the major exhibitions, Dreamings: The Art of Aboriginal Australiai, The Asia Society Galleries, New York, 1989 and Mythscapes: Aboriginal Art of the Desert, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1989.
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Social order can be preserved without the power of religion.
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Social order can be preserved without the power of religion.
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Social order can be preserved without the power of religion.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Navajo world is filled with Holy People or Gods who are represented by nearly everything and anything, animate or inanimate. Examples, Holy People can be colors, winds, rivers, animals, men, women, children, directions, sky, earth, clouds, etc. On the other end of the scale, this spiritual world is also full of devils, evil spirits, and taboos.When a Navajo is sick or has misfortune, it is because he or she has offended one of these deities. To regain health or fortune, the "patient" must restore his or her balance with nature by praying to the God responsible for that balance. The praying or healing ceremony is conducted by an hatáálii, a Navajo "Singer," or commonly called "medicine man" by Anglos. An integral part of the ceremony is the creation of sand paintings. By way of illustration, one of the famous Navajo healing ceremonies is the Mountain Chant, or Mountain-Top Way. This chant is used to cure diseases attributed to infections from a bear. "Bear sickness" is most commonly mental disturbances, nervousness, of fainting spells. The patient can get this sickness by killing a bear, eating bear meat, seeing a bear, or even dreaming about a bear. Any one of these "catastrophes" results in creating an imbalance and gives the luckless Navajo the "bear sickness." This sickness can only be cured by the patient submitting to a Sing or curing ceremony, so that harmony or hózhó can be restored.According to traditional Navajo belief, the universe is affected by that which is "good," or under control, and that which is "evil," or out of control. Between these two extremes lies hózhó, an amalgamation of such concepts as balanced, pleasant, blessed, holy and beautiful .Hózhó bridges the forces of opposition and creates balance. But this balance is difficult to maintain because the universe and its Holy People, their pantheon of animate and inanimate personifications, are not only alive but easily offended. By contacting the elemental forces of the cosmos through chanting ceremonies, Singers alleviate suffering and ensure that a patient will not be troubled again by the effects of having come into contact with dangerous forces. Hózhó is then reinstated.Singers perform chantways in two-, five-, and nine-night variations that contain two principal parts. The first task is purification and exorcism of evil. This is achieved through the use of emetics, herbal treatments and sweat baths. After purification, the first task is followed by the attraction of supernatural powers to reinstate balance or hózhó. It is in the second part of chantway ritual, the summoning of the gods, that sandpaintings are made. According to legends, the Holy People kept paintings of sacred designs on spiders' webs, sheets of sky, clouds, fog, fabric and buckskin. These holy designs were an integral part of the Gods' own religious ceremonies recounting the lessons of life. The Holy People bestowed upon the Dine the right to create transitory illustrations of these paintings.The Navajo copies of the gods' paintings are used in their own sacred rituals, usually the illustration of an allegory within a healing ceremony. The Dineh copies of the Holy People pictures assume the form of sandpaintings depicting anthropomorphic supernaturals, the four sacred plants (corn, beans, squash and tobacco), clouds, animals and numerous other objects. Usually, sandpaintings are made inside the Navajo home, the hogan, an eight sided, cribbed-log dwelling. The paintings often are laid out on a one- to three-inch-thick bed of fresh sand that has been smoothed with a wooden weaving-batten, though sometimes a buckskin or cloth serves as a surface.The principal sandpainting colors--white, blue, yellow, and black--convey symbolic meaning and are linked with the Four Sacred Mountains marking the boundaries of Dinetah, the traditional tribal universe:• White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn; 
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado The Singer usually has assistants who do the actual "painting," under his direction. Small sandpaintings (a couple of feet square) can be made by a two men in an hour or so. Mammoth creations, often twenty feed wide or more, require the labor of fifteen or more men, for most of a day. Average size is around six to eight feet across.The sandpainting episodes occur in the second or supplication part of the ceremony, typically on day five through nine in a nine-day chant. The Navajo term for sandpainting is íikááh, "place where the gods come and go." It is an appropriate name since the designs are employed to summon supernatural forces.During part of an elaborate ceremony, a patient troubled by physical or mental ills sits on the finished sandpainting, facing east toward the hogan's darkened doorway. The Holy People who are being summoned will arrive from this direction and infuse the sandpainting with their healing power. In this way, the evil causing the physical or mental hurt is dispelled, and future threats from malevolent forces are blunted.When the patient moves onto the painting, this physical contact establishes a mutual pathway wherein human and Gods interact. Through this pathway, the evil or illness in the patient is replaced by the good or healing power of the Gods depicted in the sandpainting.As the patient identifies with the supernaturals by sitting on the painting, the singer, through song, prayers and movements, relates the body of the patient to the body of the Deities: foot to foot, hand to hand, head to head. Through prayers, the patient becomes identified with the spiritual strength of the Holy People. The patient leaves the sandpainting having internalized the wisdom and guidance of the appropriate Gods, who will continue to guide the patient long after the ceremonial's completion.After the patient is treated, members of the audience may come up to the sandpainting and daub sand on themselves, thus partaking in the curing ceremony and bringing harmony to their own person. It is this open participation that attracts large crowds to every Sing held on the reservation.When the ritual is concluded, the drypainting is destroyed by the Singer in the reverse order of its creation and literally swept away. Ceremonious destruction of the sandpainting is essential, for the Holy People are at once revered and feared. Failure to properly dispose of the sandpainting can bring dire consequences to the transgressor.
  • The Sundance (ashkisshe) is structurally similar to the ritual of the vision quest. In both instances, baaattaakuuo, the making of a private vow to Akbaatatdia, precedes participation. The vow expresses the needs of an orphaned individual. Fasting (bilisshiissannee) is the means of sacrifice in both rituals, and if an individual is sincere (diakaashe), a vision and adoption by the Iilapxe may transpire. The ritual processes for both the Sundance and the fast focus on the individual sacrifice and spiritual attainment.While the fast is entirely an individual and private endeavor, however, the Sundance is an aggregate of individual expressions, dramatically demonstrating concern and love for family, tribe, and humanity. Ties with family and friends are reaffirmed and strengthened. A lodge is built, cattails are collected and given out, songs are sung, and a feast is prepared and served, all to those who offer their prayers and themselves in the Sundance. The prayers offered during the sunrise ceremony may be directed at the welfare of a family member, of an entire family, of all apsaalooke, or of all people during the Sundance. The preparation for a Sundance are extensive and have become more so in recent years, with two and occasionally three Sundances being held on the reservation each summer. First a sponsor for the Sundance comes forward after having vowed (baaattaakuuo) to “put up” a dance. This usually happens at the conclusion of one Sundance or at a prayer meeting held the winter before the announced time. Usually after the first spring thunder, a ceremony is held at the site of the Sundance. Sweet cedar is burned and a prayer is offered to Isaahke to tell him where the center pole of the lodge will be placed. The prayer and the marking ceremony are considered the 1st of 4 “outdoor dances” held at the site. These “rehearsal dances” involve many future participants, including the sponsor. Then at the end of each “rehearsal dance” a feast is served for the participants. While the rehearsal dances take place at night, the days before a Sundance are designated for the cutting and gathering of the material needed to construct a lodge.The most subtle, but most fundamental ritual of the Sundance is chiwakiia (act of prayer). It is in prayer that a participants intentions are stated. The song of the singers, with the help from the smoke of tobacco, carry the words of the prayer to Akbaatatdia (The Maker.) Dancing is the primary activity for most Sundance participants and is considered the most spectacular dimension of the ceremony. Dancing like prayer is a personal endeavor, Each to their own pace, because by the 3rd and final day most participants are severely weakened from fasting and extreme heat of the day.The "driftwood" world view is revealed through the Crow Sundance. As the driftwood bundle is tightly interwoven, so are the Sundancers. Every participant is intertwined to the family for encouragement and refreshment, as well as the Lodge with it's center pole. Eagle Buffalo and Little Old Man. The bond becomes animated when the dancers sincerity is offered. In exchange a prayer is channeled, a vision received, or a cure obtained. A child is blessed with good health, or a dancer is guided by the buffalo during a vision. The meaning and the life-force of the transcendent are brought to bear upon and realized within the participants of the Sundance. In addition to the 12 monthly ceremonies, there is a three to four day sun dance that takes place each summer, usually in July. The preparation is too detailed to describe here, but involves building a lodge from a large cottonwood tree, with a forked branch in the middle. Twelve upright poles are placed about 13 paces from the center pole in a circular fashion, with rafter poles connecting the outside of the circle to the inner pole. From an aerial view, this appears as a wagon wheel with a hub in its center. This symbolizes the tribe (on the outside of the circle) trying to find their way straight to the center.  Fitzgerald told me about the preparations for the Crow sun dance, where the dancers greet each sunrise with sacred songs. Then the medicine man prays on behalf of the tribe, the world, and all creation. Throughout the day, 100 or more tribe members may dance to a drum beat, which represents the heart of the universe. The dancers fast for the duration of the ceremony. All their time is spent praying to the Creator and dancing toward and away from the center pole. The ceremony is brutal and causes many dancers to collapse, what Indians call taking a fall. This is followed by a vision, similar to what happens on a vision quest, only here many people are given guidance for the good of the tribe. In a sense, this is a community vision quest to renew the people and the bioregion.  On the second day, spectators from the tribe enter the lodge to be healed, bearing gifts of tobacco and incense. This is exactly the same process that takes place during the monthly prayer sun dance ceremonies, where harmful spiritual and physical manifestations are taken into an animal instrument and cast off to the wind, while prayers are said to heal the person.  Sun dance ceremonies typically end with a purification ceremony so that tribe members can re-enter the world refreshed and regenerated. Fitzgerald notes that this ritual is as concrete as it is symbolic, and related to me a time when he was in a purification lodge with Yellow Tail. While praying, Yellow Tail suddenly threw a scoop of water onto the very hot volcanic rocks. The force of the 212 degree steam knocked Fitzgerald down. He equated the feeling to that of an egg that sizzles when dropped onto a skillet. Yellow Tail continued to pray, and then asked Fitzgerald if he was alright. Fitzgerald leaned up onto his elbow to assure Yellow Tail that he was fine, feeling too embarrassed to admit that he was thrown onto the ground. At that moment, Fitzgerald realized that this was more than a symbolic death; there was an element of pure suffering accompanying this ceremony of death and renewal.  The dual meaning of this ritual is also expressed by Yellow Tail, who says, "When water is thrown onto the rocks, the heat does not merely cleanse us from the outside. It also goes all the way into our hearts. We know that we must suffer the ordeal of the heat in order to purify ourselves. In that way, we re-emerge from the sweat lodge at the end of the ceremony as new men who have been shown the light of the wisdom of our spiritual heritage for the first time. This allows us to participate in all of our daily tasks with the fresh remembrance of our position on earth, and our continuous obligation to walk on this earth in accordance with the sacred ways."
  • In South Asia, we start with the indigenous Indus culture and witness the impact of the migration of the branch of the Indo-Iranians (retrospectively called the Indo-Aryans) that eventually made its way to northwestern India. We explore the elements of both Indus and Indo-Aryan religions to prepare for the examination of the Axial transformation of Indian religion. Pre-Axial religion in India focused on this-worldly concerns, such as the acquisition of material needs and comforts, long life, and successful reproduction, and was decidedly oriented toward ritual. With the advent of the Axial Age, Indian sages began to question the values associated with the material world and ritual practices. Indian religion became increasingly preoccupied with understanding the destiny of the individual and the nature of the deepest reality underlying all appearances. After a great deal of speculation, the ideas of reincarnation and karma were widely accepted, creating a new problem for Indian religion: attaining release from the endless rounds of death and rebirth known as samsara. Individuals by the hundreds began to renounce worldly life and experiment with solutions to this predicament. Among the scores of new spiritualities developed during this time, we examine three of the most important and most enduring: the mysticism of the Upanishads, which provided the foundational structure for the massive conglomerate of religious beliefs and practices later known as Hinduism; the teachings of the Buddha, based on an approach he called the Middle Way; and the beliefs and practices of the Mahavira, whose movement became known as Jainism. Setting these traditions
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous
  • Powerful beings in the beginning; they created the Dawn People, dwell in a “sky village” near the sun rise, after death, people go to the sky village, and become powerful beings Through ritual and music, the powerful people become now and us; Account of way things are, not rules or charter to be followed Rites of passage Power of PB ambiguous

Hum40 podcast-f11-week7-tribal-religion-online Hum40 podcast-f11-week7-tribal-religion-online Presentation Transcript

  • Evolution of Religious Systems*
    • Indigenous Religions (Week 7-8)
    • Archaic Religions (Week 9)
    • Historic Religions (Week 10-11)
    • Early Modern Religions (Week 12)
    • Modern Religions (Week 13-16)
    • *Quiz 2: Week 12 (November 9 or 10)
    • Source: Robert Bellah. Beyond Belief (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991).
  • Tribal or Indigenous Religions
    • Type I: Elemental spirits
    • Type II: Puppeteer spirits
    • Type III: Organic spirits
    • Type IV: Ancestral spirits
    • Type V: The High God
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type I: Elemental spirits
    • parts of nature may be alive, possessing intelligence, personality, and a soul
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type II: Puppeteer spirits
    • parts of nature may be controlled by beings distinct from the parts of nature themselves
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type III: Organic spirits
    • natural phenomena may have supernatural powers
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type IV: Ancestral spirits
    • spirits of the deceased; may do as much bad as good
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type V: The High God
    • often a creator god or being that doesn’t control other gods,…
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type V: The High God
    • … , but rather helps “explain” natural phenomena in supernatural terms;
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • Type V: The High God
    • no single all-powerful being
    • Source: Robert Wright. The Evolution of God (New York; Back Bay
    • Books, 2010).
  • The High God: Examples
    • Akbaatatdia (Crow Shoshone)
    • Wakantaka (Oglala Sioux)
    • Kmukamtch (Klamath)
  • Tribal Religions The supernatural realm is populated by beings that are like humans; they’re not always in a good mood, and may be deceitful and capricious
  • Tribal Religions “ [T]hese invisible beings are seemlessly bound to the observed world of nature.” (Wright, 19).
  • Tribal Religions Early anthropologists and missionaries were often baffled by the lack of moral or ethical precepts (stealing, cheating, adultery, etc.).
  • Tribal Religions Assumption of outside observers: A god is good.
  • Kalapalo Cosmology
    • Powerful Beings
    • Dawn People
    • Source: Ellen Basso. The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil (Waveland Press, 1988).
  • Kalapalo Cosmology
    • Powerful Beings
    • Agouti
    • Taugi
    • Thunder
    • Jaguar
    • Source: Ellen Basso. The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil (Waveland Press, 1988).
  • Kalapalo Cosmology
    • ifutisu
    • most basic value of Kalapalo life:
    • generosity, modesty, flexibility
    • Source: Ellen Basso. The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil (Waveland Press, 1988).
  • Kalapalo Ritual
    • “ In ritual performance, the unity of persons is effected through musical expression, wherein the body is an important musical instrument that helps to create a feeling about the motion of sounds in space, and understanding of a particular sense of time and of the most intense expression of life itself, which is the experience – however transient – that one indeed is a powerful being.”
    • Source: Ellen Basso. The Kalapalo Indians of Central Brazil (Waveland Press, 1988).
  • Xingu Indians: Ritual http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3wrGyt8UPo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR-eajgjWgU&feature=related
  • Walbiri Sacred History djugurba (“Dreaming”)
  • Emu Dreaming: Walbiri Sacred History http://www.pawmedia.com.au/video/walyka-emu-dreaming-5
  • Emu Dreaming (Walbiri) This one that came along is called Emu Dreaming From a place called Wawurrawurrpa It came along and stopped along the way at Emu Bore Yeah those mob, those emus It came along to a place called Kurntarni And that’s where they’re staying Then they came to this place called Walyka. Over there and you can see their footprints there And then they went Eastwards to Ngarna They stayed there for a little while And that’s when they decided To call themselves Anmatjere They kept on going East Through to Yarluyungu Yeah, all those emus Then they went underground And went back west to Wawurrwarrpa They left some of them back there That belongs to my father’s side Yeah that’s the one that came That Jangala he went there and brought them back from the East Napangardi is a guardian And Nakamarra and two Napanangkas And me I’m the keeper Along with my Nangala
  • Emu Dreaming
    • Who are main characters of the story?
    • How and why do you think this storytelling experience is called a “Dreaming”?
    • In what ways does this illustrate “tribal” forms of the supernatural?
    • How does this storytelling experience differ from the Kalapalo?
    Gather in groups of three. As a group, create the most accurate and eloquent answers to the following questions.
  • Emu Dreaming (Walbiri Geomythology)
    • Source: Ray P. Norris. 2008. “Emu Dreaming.” Retrieved from: http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/rnorris/emu/
  • Emu Dreaming The “Emu in the Sky”, consisting of dark patches in the Milky Way, above the Emu engraving at Elvina track, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, NSW. Photo by Barnaby Norris (2007).
  • Emu Dreaming
    • The world was created in the djurgurba (“Dreaming”) by ancestral spirits who have left symbols all around us to guide us in our lives.
    • Source: Ray P. Norris. 2008. “Emu Dreaming.” Retrieved from: http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/rnorris/emu/
  • Emu Dreaming
    • The night sky contains many of
    • these symbols.
    • Source: Ray P. Norris. 2008. “Emu Dreaming.” Retrieved from: http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/rnorris/emu/
  • Emu Dreaming
    • The appearance of a star or constellation can tell people when it’s time to move to a new food source.
    • Source: Ray P. Norris. 2008. “Emu Dreaming.” Retrieved from: http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/rnorris/emu/
  • Ngaut Ngaut
    • A “bicycle-wheel” or “sunburst” petroglyph at Sturts Meadows, NSW. While this may represent the sun, or perhaps even a supernova, there is no additional information to support these interpretations, and so any interpretation remains speculative.
  • Emu Dreaming
    • Ngaut Ngaut site (south Australia):
    • Source: Ray P. Norris. 2008. “Emu Dreaming.” Retrieved from: http://www.atnf.csiro.au/people/rnorris/emu/
  • Darby Jampijinpa Ross
Warlpiri born c. 1910 Yankirri Jukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) 1987
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
121.2 x 91.4 cm
  • Mantua Nangala (Artist)
  • Clan of the Cave Academic: Team Quiz on “Tribal Religions”
    • Gather in groups of four (find your respective card).
    • Using your lecture notes, reader, and your collective “tribal” knowledge, review the list of concepts and sacred practices below with your group members.
    • As a group, create one closed question and one open question on a separate sheet of paper with your names listed.
    • You have 15 minutes to review your notes and complete your questions. (May the wisest “tribe” win!)
    • REVIEW MATERIAL:
    • Types of spirits (elemental, puppeteer, organic, ancestral, High God)
    • Crow Sun Dance Ritual ( Akbaatatadia , whistle, trees, prayer, clothing)
    • Kalapalo (powerful beings, Dawn People, ifutisu , musical ritual)
    • Walpiri ( djugurba , guruwari , banba , ubiety, cult of the All-Mother,
    • idea of “country” or paths)
    • Navajo (sacred mountains/location, shamans, diyn dine’e , hozho ,
    • myth of origin, Changing Women, Blessingway Ceremony)
  • Navajo Sacred Places Source: Peter Nabokov. Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places (New York: Penguin, 2006).
  • Navajo Sacred Places Source: Peter Nabokov. Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places (New York: Penguin, 2006). • White Shell Peak in the east, Mount Blanca, Colorado, is associated with the dawn;
• Blue Turquoise Mountain to the south, Mount Tailor, New Mexico, signals the sky;
• Yellow Abalone Shell Mountain in the west, San Francisco Peak, Arizona, connotes twilight; and 
• Darkness belongs to Black Coal Mountain on the northern periphery, Mount Hesperus, Colorado
  • Navajo Sacred Places
  • Navajo Sacred Places hózhó: “ peace, beauty, harmony, balance” Source: Maureen Schwartz. Navajo Lifeways (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983).
  • Navajo Mythology Source: Maureen Schwartz. Navajo Lifeways (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1983). “ Changing Woman”
  • Navajo Mythology
  • Navajo Symbolism corn plant metaphor
  • Navajo Sacred Places Source: Peter Nabokov. Where the Lightning Strikes: The Lives of American Indian Sacred Places (New York: Penguin, 2006). Blessingway Ceremony: return everyone to an intimacy with the Holy People and their harmonious ways
  • Navajo Sandpainting
  • Navajo Sandpainting
  • Navajo Sandpainting
  • Navajo Sandpainting
  • Navajo Sandpainting
  • The Sun Dance Ritual
    • Akbaatatdia (Crow Shoshone)
    • ashkisshe (Sun Dance)
    • chiwakiia (prayer)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQrW-3BZtyQ
    • http://www.nativespiritinfo.com/media.html
    • DISCUSSION
    • Describe the main features of the Sun Dance.
    • 2. How does this ritual embody forms of the sacred in a “tribal” sense?
    • 3. How is the divine or supernatural invoked during this ritual?
  • Native American Spirituality http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhGBsprT6y0
  • Native American Spirituality
    • How are Native American “high gods” different from a monotheistic God?
    • When and how did Native Americans settle onto what is now North and South America?
    • How did the “shaman” function in Native American society?
    • Are their shaman-like equivalents in modern American life today?
    Gather in groups of three. As a group, create the most accurate and eloquent answers to the following questions.