The Navajo Ceremonial Basket

The Navajo (Diné) Ceremonial Basket, sometimes referred to as the Navajo Wedding Basket, is a rich tradition in Navajo culture.  The basket represents Hozhooji, or Blessing Way, a state of harmony and balance among all living creatures.  The basket is used in nearly every significant life event from the birth of a child, to a wedding, the blessing of a home, and healing ceremonies.  The ceremonial basket symbolizes happiness, security and well-being.

The Navajo Ceremonial Basket utilizes plant material native to the washes that surround the Navajo Reservation.  The basket is woven from strips of Sumac coiled over a foundation of sumac rods.  It is commonly believed that having a Navajo basket in your home is a blessing.  Just as the doorway of a traditional Navajo dwelling faces east, so too should the opening of a Navajo basket design.  By honoring the east, we welcome the purity, rebirth and renewal that the rising sun brings. If the opening cannot be pointed east while displayed, it is acceptable to point the opening upwards towards the sun and sky.

Most Navajo ceremonial baskets have three red banded designs, though more bands may be used for special ceremonies. The paler designs in the center represent clouds and rain, with the darker inner portion representing mountains. The red bands are rainbows, representing joy and happiness and the fruits of life. The rainbows are also a symbol of protection. The outer design portions represent Holy and Spiritual people and the outer pale portions are where the Sun, Moon, and Stars travel- representing the source of life to all creation.

View our collection of Navajo Ceremonial Baskets

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