Pictorial weavings are generally a reflection of the world as the weaver sees it, usually influenced by her immediate environment. As the world around the weavers has changed, so have the scenes in the Pictorials, which can depict traditional reservation life, trains, trading posts, and trucks. These weavings can be considered a visual history of life on the reservation over the past century.
One of the most popular pictorial styles, Bird Pictorials / Tree of Life Designs, also may be the most difficult to execute. Weavers of this style are able to create curved lines in a geometric format to illustrate realistic-looking birds, a talent said to be a family secret. The beautiful birds are usually depicted with the sacred Navajo plant, the cornstalk, growing from a traditional Navajo ceremonial basket.