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Earth Is My Mother, Sky Is My Father: Space, Time, and Astronomy in Navajo Sandpainting / Edition 1

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Overview

To the Navajo, sandpaintings are sacred, living entities that reflect the interconnectedness of all living beings—humans, plants, stars, animals, and mountains. This book, now available in paperback, explores the circularity of Navajo thought in sandpaintings, Navajo chantway myths, and stories reflected in the celestial constellations.

Beautifully illustrated by the author, this well-documented book explores the spiritual world of the Navajo, their ceremonial practices, and their conceptions of time and stellar motion. Griffin-Pierce shows how the images of sacred sandpaintings not only communicate the temporal and spatial dimensions of the Navajo universe but also present, in visual form, Navajo ideas about relationships among nature, self, and society.

"Griffin-Pierce's approach is highly original, bringing this material together in an innovative and creative manner while grounding it holistically within the context of Navajo world view."—M. Jane Young, author of Signs from the Ancestors: Zuni Cultural Symbolism and Perceptions of Rock Art

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Explores the circularity of Navajo thought through an analysis of sandpaintings, chantway myths, and stories reflected in the celestial constellations. Illustrated with line drawings and eight color paintings. Griffin-Pierce (anthropology, U. of Arizona) also reviews Navajo history and ethnography. N. Scott Momaday contributes a short foreword. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826316349
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.99 (w) x 8.99 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Trudy Griffin-Pierce (1949-2009) was an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. She was the author of several books on American Indian cosmology.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Tables
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The Roots of Navajo Culture 10
3 The Navajo Spiritual World 29
4 Cosmological Order as a Model for Navajo Philosophy and Life 63
5 The Navajo Heavens in Visual Image and Verbal Narrative 98
6 The Constellations as a Cultural Text 142
7 Mother Earth, Father Sky 174
8 Conclusion 196
Appendix: Field Procedures 201
Notes 205
Bibliography 215
Index 229
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