Swallows of Four Corners
1971, felt pen, an early picture by Chris Wayan
When I was a teen my family camped in Navaho country. It felt familiar--more like home than home! Not just the land--the art, the animals, even the language, the one that scares off most Anglos. I suspect it was home: my first memory in this life is of being a horse somewhere near Shiprock and waking to find I was a human toddler. Trapped in suburbia, I kept drawing myself back home... Not very skilled but heartfelt.
Decades later I still notice what care I took on such pictures, as a kid. Though the exact spot's imaginary, I know water must be nearby, due to the swallows; I wanted a place to live in, not just visit for the scenery! And I know we're looking north: that's sacred Black Mountain on the horizon.
The stylized deer, clouds and swallows are more in pictograph/pottery style, more Pueblo than Navaho. So sue me, I was a horse, what did I know from culture?
Sorry, different lifetime.
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