BLESSING THE SHEEP

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BLESSING OF OUR SHEEP BY OUR NAVAJO BROTHERS

Water was placed in metal pot and an animal hide laid across the opening which formed a drum.  Seven small round stones were used to secure the rawhide and the young brave began to draw, stretch and tie until the skin became a very tight and became a functional part of an actual Native Ceremonial Drum.   The iron base represented mother Earth and the water, life’s living blood. The seven stones that held it together represented the body’s seven functional systems.   The drum skin represented the sky above The drums creation came together in a sacred symbolism very significant to a highly revered native culture.

Until contact with Pueblos and the Spanish, the Navajo were largely hunters and gatherers. The tribe adopted crop farming techniques from the Pueblo peoples, growing mainly corn, beans, and squash. When the Spanish arrived, the Navajo began herding sheep and goats as a main source of trade and food with meat becoming an essential component of the Navajo diet. Sheep also became a form of currency and status symbol among the Navajo based on the overall quantity of herds a family maintained. In addition, the practice of spinning and weaving wool into blankets and clothing became common and eventually developed into a form of highly valued artistic expression.