Soyakatsina by Oswald Fredericks

Soyakatsina by Oswald Fredericks

“The mission of the Museum of Northern Arizona is to inspire a sense of love and responsibility for the beauty and diversity of the Colorado Plateau through collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the region’s natural and cultural heritage.” We started our tour reviewing current geologic information about the Colorado Plateau. Then we learned more about the early peoples who inhabited the region. The anthropological displays about the current native peoples – Hopi, Navaho, Pai, and Zuni – were especially good. A 9 by 12 foot textile, for example, by Louise Lameman filled a wall with an intricate design. Soykatsina by Oswald Fredericks caught my attention in a display of katsinas. A watercolor painting, “Blessings of the Mother Earth,” showed great technique. A colorful modern day kiva mural outlines information about the important place of religion. The initial segment of this panel, Emergence,” as described by the artist: “All cultures and spiritual institutions have their concepts of birthing and the beginning. The life forms were here before we arrived: insects, plants, reptiles, animals, clouds, lightning, stars, etcetera. The kiva is a symbol of the womb – the Earth womb – and the ladder represents the birth canal….”

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