A set of Navajo wide boards
Lot 4004
A set of Navajo wide boards
Sold for US$ 4,750 inc. premium
Auction Details
A set of Navajo wide boards
Lot Details
A set of Navajo wide boards
Conceived as four flat spatulate implements with tapering handles, all painted in symbolic imagery representing entities from Navajo cosmology and celestial elements, one pierced through the center, each with handspun cotton cordage attachments.
height (as mounted) 12 1/4in


  • Provenance:
    Richard Corrow collection, Apache Junction, Arizona, collected prior to 1985 on the Navajo reservation


    These are an essential part of the Shootingway ceremony, a must have for a singer/chanter to perform. Made during a five or nine night ceremony, tradition indicates the boards were originally obtained from the Hailway people of the skies during a healing rite but the images made later for Shootingway.

    The first board to the right, side one, represents Holy Young Man (bottom) as brought to the skies by lightning through the sky-hole while his brother, Holy Boy, (top) was swallowed by fish. The flints saved Holy Boy as he was able to cut his way out of fish. The reverse shows Big Fly, the informer, and Otter, the protector, of Holy Young Man during his travels. The second board is the sun in blue and Sky Man, or Father Sun, on the reverse. The third board features the moon in white and Mother Earth on reverse while the fourth, darkness and dawn on one side, with day and evening on the opposite. Wide boards should be obtained from a lightning-struck cottonwood tree from one of the sacred mountains. During the ceremony, the chanter presses the boards against the One-Sung-Over (patient) drawing evil and illness from the body.

    Richard Corrow
    October, 2012
  1. Jim Haas
    Specialist - Native American
    220 San Bruno Avenue
    San Francisco, 94103
    United States
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