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Native American Navajo Made Wedding Basket by Virginia Smith
The Navajo Ceremonial Basket, also called Navajo Wedding Basket, is viewed as a map through which the Navajo chart their lives. The central spot in the basket represents the sipapu, the hole which represents the navel of the earth through which the People emerged into this world of light. The inner coils of the basket are white to represent birth. As you travel outward on the coils you begin to encounter more and more black. The black represents darkness, struggle and pain. As you make your way through the darkness you eventually reach the red bands, which represent marriage; the mixing of your blood with your spouse and the creation of family. The red is pure. During this time there is no darkness. Traveling outside familial bands you encounter more darkness; however, the darkness is interspersed with white light. The light represents increasing enlightenment, which expands until you enter the all white banding of the outer rim. This banding represents the spirit world, where there is no darkness. The line from the center of the basket to the outer rim is there to remind you that no matter how much darkness you encounter in your world, there is always a pathway to the light. During ceremonies the pathway in the basket is always pointed east. The last coil on the basket rim is finished off at this pathway to allow the medicine man to easily locate it in darkness.