Artist: Mary Holiday Black

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Coiled Story Basket (2007)

Mary Holiday Black’s Coiled Story Basket shows us a microcosm of the Diné (Navajo) world, starting with the cleverly overstitched fence in the middle which pens in Churro sheep. Surrounding the animals are the images of daily life in Dinétah (the Diné homeland) including tractors, horses, and neighbors chatting or sitting under sunshades. In the next ring, a hogan is the center of a ceremony where men and women wrapped in warm blankets watch masked dancers. In a black celestial background around the outside of the basket Mary places colorful eagles and spirit figures. In a final touch, she encloses this world within an overstitched edge with crossed-over lacings.