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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.

Monument Valleyish mesas, swallows playing in foreground, deer and horse in midground, Black Mountain on the horizon; done in 1930s Navaho style tinged with hippie felt-pen innocence.

LISTS AND LINKS: juvenilia (earliest art and dreams) - landscapes - deserts and oases - birds - Native Americans (Navaho) - reincarnation - felt pen - I was a horse near Shiprock in I am Three

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