Symbols Native America PAINTINGS OF SAND
The mandala of Native Americans are related entirely to the art of medicine, a term that refers to all the forces that have a positive effect on men and that can improve relations with animals, plants, artifacts, and the entire community . Their construction is equivalent to a magical recreation of the world and the cosmos in miniature, showing the balance of forces in the universe.
Among the Indians of America are among the Navajo sand mandala, and Pueblo and paintings on the shields of war or on the rocks throughout North America, all the therapeutic approach combines spirituality, herbal medicine and magic, in the treatment of a wide range of physical and emotional, from the common cold to depression anyway.
Like other ancient healing systems such as traditional Chinese medicine and Indian medicine American Indian has a holistic approach that includes the treatment of body, mind and spirit, as the health of the individual is linked to inextricable harmony among the members of the family and the tribe, although there are variations in the specific healing rituals, four practices are the most common and Native Americans have been using them for at least 10,000 years.
They include a healer, medicine man or woman, or shaman (although some consider that the term shaman is inappropriate because of European origin), the use of herbal medicine, purifying rituals and ritual of the mandala.
According to some legends the Navajo sand mandala with curative functions have a mystical origin and were a gift given to a child, where those who repeat the legend, used by most of the tribes of the desert suboccidentale and a few other regions of the west coast: these paintings in the shallows of a complex beauty, each color comes from natural minerals, stones and powdered gems, from charcoal, pollen or cornmeal.
Among the various Navajo tribes have developed the most extensive range of sand paintings, well over a thousand specimens, where painters use colors to draw precisely the forms of sacred feathers, clouds, bags of medicine, of divine figures , plants and rainbows.
The creation of the sand mandala is accompanied by songs which are also called psalms or streets and the singer is a Navajo medicine man who knows the songs from ceremony to specific treatments, handed down orally and are part of the experience.
The native healers go beyond the simple symptoms to discover the roots of the disease, the cure of which can not be separated from its content magical and spiritual and is connected to the natural world, in fact, harmony is the theme relating to health, where 'balance is perceived as health and disease is its opposite.
This balance can also be lost through a pain, sadness or hurt, or even an imbalance of the natural environment, where reaching the healing means assessing what needs to be modified in order to restore balance.
Most of the native languages do not have a word to indicate the traditional medicine that it is called mystery: the Navajo word to indicate the sand paintings is iikaah which means "the place where the holy people comes and goes," because during the ceremonies There are powerful supernatural forces and only the shaman knows how long it will take to heal, what herbs to use, such as sand paintings and what songs do, the healing process is closely linked to its vision shown by the sand mandala and special breathing practices that help the patient to resonate with the flow of harmony.
The specific healing practices vary from tribe to tribe and from healer to healer, they also depend on the nature of the patient and the disorder, but the causes of the disease are always considered to close the past of a person, his mental state, his emotions and his being in harmony with the spirit world.
The sand painting must be created between sunrise and sunset in one day, and is usually prepared on the dirt floor of a hogan blessed the house traditional eight-sided Navajo, whose entrance is always oriented to the east, as our churches and temples of pagan Europe; paintings large and complex may require the presence of four or more skilled artists working around the clock to complete an intricate design on the size of up to six meters in diameter, but most are very small and can be made from a single painter.
All sand paintings, traditionally called "sacred circles", are an indication of the four directions, have a circular structure and an outline that can be square, the side that faces east and is the entrance of the hogan is always left opened.
As for the Tibetan mandalas, the orientation of the painting in the four directions is critical to the healing process, whether in Tibetan mandalas each direction corresponds to a gate of the palace, in turn, has its own specific deity at in Native Americans, the four directions correspond to periods of life and the passing of the seasons.
Each direction is also connected to a particular color: the east to yellow (because it is the sun) is the direzine lighting and recalls the spring, the birth of the day, the findings youth.
The south, the green grass grew as south best, is the direction of trust and innocence, recalls the summer, the fullness, the noon and the age of procreation.
The west black, because the sun disappears in that direction, leaving the darkness of the night, is the place of introspection, autumn, afternoon or adulthood.
The north, the white, because there were the rocky mountains full of snow that often did not melt, is the seat of wisdom, recalls the long dark night, illuminated by the moon and the rich treasure of wisdom.
They are often also referred to the intermediate directions, which are also associated with symbolic colors: turquoise northwest, northeast, pink, red southwest, southeast Orange, where each of these directions, and color that distinguishes it has a special healing quality.
When the painting is finished, the patient enters and hogan sits at the center of the design, some of the work pieces are placed on his body so that through the visions of deities and sacred landscapes are given the strength and healing energies, then the patient is blessed with sacred cornmeal and while the shaman and the patient's family sing and pray (which is repeated in the Catholic tradition, and in spite of everything it is also pagan) the disease is drawn in colored sand.
When the shaman believes that the time has elapsed, the entire painting is destroyed, with a shovel collection in a basket or a piece of skin, flow eastward and abandoned in the desert, where it can not harm anyone, even if often the patient, it takes a little bit in the bag medicine staff, some unisconoo this traditional method to conventional medical practices but many natives this is the only cure that you submit.
The ritual of the sand painting is usually held on the fifth day, in ceremonies unn period that lasts nine days and includes purification rituals in the sweat tent.
Today, among the Navajo, the sand paintings are still an important tool in the treatment of various ailments and contemporary Navajo painters devote most of their lives to study and experience this art to hone their talents.