A Woven History

Native American cosmology is super-sophisticated and highly variegated. There are nearly as many creation myths and belief systems as there are different tribes; the richness, scope and breadth of all these forms of thought and feeling is a large part of what makes studying the first Americans so fascinating. For the Navajo people in particular, weaving is a cornerstone of their cosmology. Navajo textiles speak to social relationships within the tribe; moreover, like all Native American art, they are intimately bound to place and both its concrete and spiritual reality. There's no artificial separation of divinity from landscape, flora and fauna -- all are facets of a whole unity. A new exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org), Mother Earth, Father Sky: Textiles from the Navajo World, offers a glimpse into this key tribe's worldview with fourteen historic and contemporary textiles, among them blankets, serapes and saddle blankets. The free exhibit opens Tuesday, January 21, and is housed in Gallery 100 of the museum. The Saint Louis Art Museum is open every day except Monday.
Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Jan. 25. Continues through June 22, 2013

 
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