Artist: Lorraine Black

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Fire Dance Basket (2007)

In Fire Dance, Lorraine Black shows us the many circles of the Diné (Navajo) universe, from spirit world to local community. Vivid colors and minute details make this basket a delight to explore. The outer band features Yé’ii (Diné gods) along with sacred eagles and revered ancestors against a starry black sky. Below them in the temporal world, Diné life unfolds amid distant mesas and traditional hogans. Trains go by and a man and woman care for their horses and Churro sheep. Did you notice the crows? In the middle of the basket, a Yé’ii embraces a circle of people observing Iłnáázt’i’ (the Fire Dance). They sit around a warm fire watching as dancers sing and carry bundles of shredded cedar bark to offer protection against fire in the coming year.