Hyrum Joe

A Painting for Healing—A Navajo Sandpainter


oil on canvas
40 x 30 in.
49 x 39 in. (framed)
The sweat lodge singer, wearing his turquoise jewelry, sits in his ceremonial hogan and applies red-pigmented sand to a figure. The entire sandpainting consists of holy beings, whirling logs, and sacred vegetation such as corn, beans, tobacco, and squash. A patient with a sickness, or mental or emotional health problems, will sit in the painting while the medicine man performs songs and prayers over them. The holy elements in the sandpainting will then absorb any illness from the patient's body and healing will take place.