Photo credit: Edward S. Curtis
In the 1930s, a photographer named Edward Curtis stayed with the Navajo people. He photographed them in their ceremonial costumes, determined to preserve the memory of a culture that he feared was dying.
He took pictures of the Navajo people using some incredible masks in their ceremonies, meant to look like their gods. This one is of the god Nayenezgani, the Slayer of Alien Gods, who they would call upon for miraculous births or for help in war.
During their chants, a man would wear a costume imitating on of their gods and would dance and act out performances. The chants would tell stories and ask for help from spirits, who might give luck or exorcise evil spirits.
It's only through the efforts of folks like Mr. Curtis that we have an accurate record of many of the costumes used in their ceremonies available to us today. Hats off to this gentleman and the others like him.
Coffee out on the patio today.