Here is something different in the realm of Navajo folk art: a beautiful, unique, and usable, handbag.
Totally hand made, this sturdy canvas bag comes complete with a long hand-braided cord, for over-the-body wear, a velcro fastening for security, and is entirely lined with a soft cotton, in an abstract, ikat design.
The vibrant painting is of a Navajo figure, complete with turquoise hat band and eagle feather on the iconic “reservation” black hat, and a medicine bag, jauntily slung over the neck.
Notice the long buckskin fringe and turquoise clasp, with silver button decorations, on the medicine bag.
Other traditional symbols on the figure include, a curled, wavy lavender line of flowing water, stepped mountain shapes, and dots for water drops.
Floating around the figure are vivid dots within circles, cheerily referring to raindrops.
The painting on the bag incorporates a wonderful collection of joyful colors that sing of beauty and life: turquoise, coral, green, golden yellow.
The luscious colors of land and sky, sun and water- and the green plants that grow as a result – are reined in by the darks; a deep purple background, touches of black, and a couple of white accents.
Use it as a clutch, or over the shoulder, and smile at the compliments.
Creative, lovely to look at, and functional, too, this is a delightful and unexpected way to bring tradition into our times.