Painting & Sacred Arts

manitou3.jpg

manitou kristena west 1986

Living Life in a Sacred Manner 
Navajo Song of the Creation

The earth is looking at me; she is looking up at me
I am looking down on her
I am happy, she is looking at me
I am happy, I am looking at her.

 

The sun is looking at me; he is looking down on me
I am looking up at him
I am happy, he is looking at me
I am happy, I am looking at him.

 

The black sky is looking at me; he is looking down on me
I am looking up at him
I am happy, he is looking at me
I am happy, I am looking at him.

 

The moon is looking at me; he is looking down on me
I am looking up at him
I am happy, he is looking at me
I am happy, I am looking at him.

the Shamanic Call

In 1986 I worked in a frame shop and we were working on South American headdress' made of parrot feathers. These remarkable headdress' were worn on top of the head, placed over a tall a basket weave crown so the feathers towered over the wearer.
 

I had to hand-stitch the feathers back into the shape as it was old and worn. We had a number of these feathered crown headdress we were making acrylic boxes for LA museum.
 

While working on these shamans ceremonial regalia, ( I knew nothing about shamanism!) I wondered into the feathers or wandered into the feathers.... Who wore these? what kind of life, so unlike mine, did the wearer/s have? It was difficult to imagine a life-style so vastly different from my own American one. I had a friend of mine come to the shop after hours, and placed the feathered piece around his neck, and so this painting was born.
 

This is the painting, that I,  in one of our many fires here in southern California, pull off the frame and take in my car when we have to evacuate. This is a teacher. And after years and years of considering, I think the spirits residing in this headdress, called me to study shamanism and learn about these indigenous cultures; the beauty, magic, love and interconnection 

-Kristena West M.A.