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Cedar basket illusion platter
Reverse side bears same pattern
Here is some background on the tradition:
The basket is viewed as a map, through which the Navajo people chart their lives.
The central spot in the basket represents the sipapu,
where the Navajo people emerged from the prior world through a reed.
As the people emerged, all was white.
The inner coils of the basket are white to represent this lightness, or birth.
As you travel outward on the coils you begin to encounter more and more black.
The black represents darkness, struggle and pain; the darker side of life.
As you make your way through the darkness you eventually reach
the red bands, which represent marriage; the mixing of your blood
with your spouse and the creation of family.
The red is pure. During this time there is no darkness.
Traveling out of the familial bands you encounter more darkness,
however, the darkness is interspersed with white light.
The light represents increasing enlightenment,
which expands until you enter the all white banding of the outer rim.
This banding represents the spirit world, where there is no darkness.
The line from the center of the basket to the outer rim is there
to remind you that no matter how much darkness you encounter in your world,
there is always a pathway to the light.