According to Navajo beliefs, the Universe is a balanced place. Illness and other disasters happen if the balance is upset. It is believed only Humans can upset this balance, not animals or plants! To make the person healthly again a ceremony is performed. The sandpaintings, called ikaah, used in these ceremonies are made between sunrise and sunset of the same day.

 

Steps in Making a Sandpainting

Sand is made from grinding up rock found on the traditional Navajoland.

The sandpainter spreads a flat board with a thin white glue.

Then the sandpainter sprinkles the background sand across the board.

Next, the sandpainter uses the same glue and a paintbrush to begin the design. The design is done freehand. Each color is done separately, leaving plenty of time for the glue to dry.

After the design is done and dry, a very fine mist of shellac is put on for protection.


You can make your own sandpainting using colored sand from the craft store

More places to go:

Logo Projects involving Native American art : Future elementary and middle school teachers, studied Logo programming and program design. Forthis project, students investigated Native American art using the world wide web, as well as library and school resources. Each student selected art pieces to inspire a logo programming graphic design.