Word of the Day: Calumet

September 16, 2010

I love this particular piece by master Navajo artisan Tim Yazzie for its exceptional symbolism.  It combines two very powerful prayer-related ideas into one exquisite pipe.  Firstly, the pipe itself is a symbol – pipes were smoked for a variety of reasons – yes, including peace, although it certainly wasn’t the sole reason.  The drifting smoke was representative of the prayers that were being lifted to the Creator.  Secondly, the pipe is adorned with hand-crafted, sterling silver feathers of remarkable delicacy.  The Navajo tribe considers feathers to be symbolic of the Creative Force as well as prayer.   Feathers are used in prayer sticks (known as Pahos), and as decorations on a variety of items, particularly when arranged in a circular pattern (representative of the sun).  Tribal chiefs also adorned their headdresses with feathers to indicate their communication with the Creator.

A beautiful and spiritual pipe, both inside and out – it is hand-crafted from sterling silver inlaid with sleeping beauty turquoise and decorated with(as I mentioned) four dangling sterling silver feathers.  Check it out on our eBay store – definitely worth a look.

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