Artist: Elsie Holiday

Materials: Sumac (Rhus trilobata)


Three Necklaces Basket (2005)

“The way our elders tell the story of the Sun, the Sun wears jewelry . . . A dressed-up Sun, we pray to it for health, blessings . . . When we pray, we say, ‘The Earth is our Mother, the Sun is our Father,’” explains Elsie Holiday. In Three Necklaces, she weaves a design of a masked and radiant Jóhonaaʼéí, (Sun Carrier) portrayed with dignity and strength. Can you see how light falls upon one side of the Sun’s face and darkness the other? The Sun wears three heavy necklaces made of turquoise, a sacred stone representing power and status. Woven using only one rod to allow for greater detail and more color, Elsie’s design reflects the principles of balance and order. Her color palette for the composition is warm and rich, the feathers and the face in perfect balance.