Artist: Peggy Black

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Eagle Way Basket (1999)

A number of birds are sacred in Diné (Navajo) culture, but chief among them is the atsá (eagle), a symbol of power and healing. Sacred stories tell of the Eagle People who taught  Naayééʼ Neizghání (Monster Slayer) the Atsájí (Eagle Way ceremony). “They say you can pray to the eagle, when you see it flying up there you bless yourself with it to give yourself good luck,” notes Peggy Black. Her Eagle Way basket includes images of the Eagle People observing a ritualized method of capturing eagles to obtain sacred eagle feathers. Can you see the rabbit lure and the eagles flying overhead? Two overstitched Yé’ii (Diné gods) encircle the center where the trap is set. This whole scene is woven within the embrace of a large eagle whose wings encircle the outer edge of the basket.