Navajo Wedding Basket
The NAVAJO CEREMONIAL BASKET also called NAVAJO WEDDING BASKET is viewed as a map through which the Navajo chart their lives. The central spot in the basket represents the sipapu, where the Navajo people emerged from the prior world through a reed. The inner coils of the basket are white to represent birth.
As you travel outward on the coils you begin to encounter more and more black. The black represents darkness, struggle and pain. As you make your way through the darkness you eventually reach the red bands, which represent marriage; the mixing of your blood with your spouse and creation of family. The red is pure.
During this time there is no darkness. Traveling out of familial bands you encounter more darkness, however, the darkness is interspersed with white light. The light represents increasing enlightenment, which expands until you enter the all white banding of the outer rim. This banding represents the spirit world, where there is no darkness. The line from the center of the basket to the outer rim is there to remind you that no matter how much darkness you encounter in your world, there is always a pathway to the light.
This pathway during ceremonies is always pointed east. The last coil on the basket rim is finished off at this pathway to allow the medicine man to easily locate it in darkness. Additionally, the Navajo Ceremonial Basket serves another purpose. In none of the ancient Navajo rites is a regular drum or tom-tom employed. The inverted basket serves the purpose.