Saturday, March 15, 2008

Snake on a Plate

So here's the finished product of the snake plate. It is now hanging on the wall in the entryway.

When I pass it, I think about what I've learned lately about snakes and the Southwest.

It seems that snakes have a mixed reputation among the native people and I haven't come to understand it fully yet. It depends upon which group you're talking to.

Recently, I went to an Indian Market at the Arizona State Museum and while there, asked a Navajo artist about snakes in art.

The news wasn't good. I gather that snakes are not well thought of.

I was reading Halo of the Sun and the author writes that while learning Navajo rug weaving, she put a snake into the first rug she wove. There was much worrying about the fact that it could bring her bad luck. When she placed two roadrunners above the snake at the top of the rug, it seemed to neutralize or at least keep the snake in check.

I also read in the same book about the custom of weaving a pathway with an opening design along the side of a rug to 'free' the design and release it to be used again.

Now, the design of my snake is within many lines and bars. So I'm hoping that will keep it held inbounds and that it can only reside there and not find a pathway out. It cannot call other snakes in. There is much to learn here.

We'll see.

Oh, and by the way. Never speak to a snake.

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