One of the most innovative weavers of traditional and pictorial baskets, Sally belongs to the foremost family of Navajo basketry.
Her mother, Mary Holliday Black, and her extended family are all notable award-winners – as she is, herself – and generally credited with the renewed interest in Navajo basketry.
Sally is widely known for incredible precision and the use of modern, innovative designs to convey age-old themes, as seen in this dramatic piece which is based on a Navajo creation story.
In the beginning, no sun, moon, or stars existed. Since the world was cold and dark, the Holy People decided to create the sun and moon. Because Coyote had gotten them into trouble already, he was left out of their plans.
After the sun and moon were created, and set upon their orbits, the next step was to arrange the stars.
First Man began planning where to put each star.. He found three red fragments among the silvery ones he was working with, and carefully placed them in the sky. He continued, but was very slow and deliberate.
Impatient with that pace, Coyote ran up, grabbed the buckskin sheet that the stars were laid upon, with his teeth, and threw the stars up in the sky, strewing them helter-skelter across the sky.
This imposing basket is a creative interpretation of the story, with a dramatic depiction of day and night, First Man, and coyote.
Note the three red stars that First Man placed, and the many others, scattered about.
Tightly and evenly woven, each of the design elements are clean and distinct.
The whole makes a swirling, animated design.
As in all her work, clean design, even weave, and beautiful composition prove that Sally is definitely one of the best Navajo basket weavers ever.
This is a true collectors’ piece, but accessible for beginning admirers of superior baskets, too.