Part 4: Ritual Slit Weave Tapestry with Jack Cassin

This is the fourth and final post in a series of interpretations of a single textile by myself and Jack Cassin.

Possible ritual apron? Egyptian ceremonial cloth?


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emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
20 hours 9 min

I inherited a Navajo "Eye Dazzler" blanket from my grandfather who was a collector in several categories of art like that. I am still kind of startled by this thing which is hanging on a wall in a hall so that every time I go to my bedroom I get to look at it. We had a party at the house once and a few of the partygoers had indulged in some mild smokable entheogens. When I steered then to that blanket they had the best time staring at it. One of them reported that she started to hallucinate pretty agressively by staring at the jagged pattern with all the bright yellows and oranges and reds and greens and saturated blacks and earthtone beiges all intermingled in jagged triangles and diamonds. She said she was certain the the pattern must have been created to stimulate the visual cortex of people on peyote or whatever.

My dad had a Hopi blanket hanging on a wall in a living room that just looked like a tangled mish mash to me. There were strands and bangs of woven material flopping out of the viewing plane almost like a modern free form macrame piece. It was all very dark and muted greens and brown and dark dirty mustard yellows. - kind of shaggy and tangled and dirty looking. I could not make out what it was. Then one night - this was during my later teen years - one of my friends dropped by with some MJ and under its influence I was able to clearly see for the first time what the murky figures were - they were "singers" with their mouths opened like big "O's" and there was a chorus of them in a line. I was fascinated to see this form where before I has seen nothing. It also helped that the living room lights were selectively turned down so that the raised parts of the design were casting shadows. I could imagine that this blanket was supposed to be viewed in room lit by a wood fire with lots of chiaroscuro.

I am not suggesting that the Navajo were big stoners, but it would appear they had a manner of seeing similar to what modern people see when parts of the brains have been turned down and other parts turned up under the influence of certain drugs.