Artist: Sally Black

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Horned Lizard and Ants Basket (1995)

“The horny toad is like the strongest creature. It can fight with lightning, anything . . . They say that is the powerful one . . . They say that the horny toad is our grandpa,” explains Sally Black. She created this boldly colored basket in honor of Na’ashǫ́’ii dich’ízhii (horned toad), the wise old man and the most respected of all reptiles. Sally places a large horned toad in the center of her basket in prominent red. Which way will he move? His stout legs and spiky armor are visible against the white background and he is surrounded by his favorite treat, ants. Sally carefully overstitched each delicate ant leg. Notice the white line which leads from the center to the edge. This open pathway represents ha’a’aah (east), the direction from where all blessings come.