Artist: Kee Bitsinnie

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Navajo Ceremonial Basket (c. 1980)

Kee Bitsinnie weaves the ancient Diné (Navajo) of the ts’aa (ceremonial basket), also known as a wedding basket. These baskets are essential in Diné ceremonies, provide a visual record of Diné beliefs, and are revered as powerful and sacred objects. There are many interpretations of the pattern in the basket. In one, the center represents the place of emergence and the points of the star are sacred mountains surrounding Dinétah (the Diné homeland). The dark colored triangles represent the clouds which bring the rain and the red band is a rainbow on which the gods travel. The triangles pointing outward represent Diyin Diné’é (Holy People). Notice the open space at the top of the basket that allows blessings to enter the space of the basket.  A herringbone finish adds the final touch to a timeless basket design.