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Authenticating The Kachina Doll (II).

By Patty Baldwin.


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The Navajo arrived here much more recently than the ancestors of the Pueblo People referred to above. They come from a region in Alaska called Athapaskan, arriving here about the same time as the Spanish.

Merging many of the cultural traditions of their adopted heritage with their own, the concern of the Navajo suggests a refined set of values: order, stability, harmony and the interaction and interrelatedness of all things.

These values are all contained in the concept of hozho, a central principle of Navajo religion, philosophy and aesthetics. The term is roughly translated as beauty, but its broad meaning has no exact equivalent in English.

Hozho expresses the intellectual concept of order, the emotional state of happiness, the moral notion of good, the biological condition of health and well-being, and the art characteristics of balance, harmony and beauty.

The relationship of art to the concept of hozho is especially interesting. For the Navajo, a finished work of art must incorporate the elements of hozho and communicate to the viewer just what it is to achieve the condition of hozho.

All who participate in a creative action must thus be in a state of hozho. All aspects of Navajo culture are interconnected through their association to hozho.




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