Wind Way Collage, detail, 2001, Peggy Black, ET513.F-7
Photo: Kirstin Roper, © NHMU

Wind Way

Níłch'ijí (Navajo Wind Way) is one of several Wind Way healing ceremonies that can be performed to treat health problems that arise when a person’s relationship with the sacred Wind People is imbalanced. During the Navajo Wind Way, the medicine man creates sand paintings portraying wind, lightning, snakes, and other powerful imagery. Some of the stories told during the Wind Way relate to weaving. One tells how Na'ashjé'íí Asdzą́ą́ (Spider Woman) gave baskets to the Diné (Navajo) at a place called “among-the-sumac” and said, "If at any time anything goes wrong with it, be sure that you remember me by it. In that event I shall weave four seams around in a single day before sunset, and thereby I shall make it whole again."