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Word Count: 594
According to Navajo tradition the Whirling Logs sandpainting was a religious item The Navajo people used the sandpainting in healing ceremony Also the Navajos referred to the sandpainting as an iikaah meaning an opening for the gods to enter and leave The sandpainting was an essential device in the healing ceremony that could last up to nine days A singer who also was a medicine man performed the healing ceremony During the ceremony the medicine man directed other Navajos in creating the sandpainting on the ground to illustrate an allegory within the healing ceremony The sandpainters used crushed stones flowers gypsums and pollen to create and complete the sandpainting in one day Then they destroyed it later that night in order to dispel evil and restore health In the Whirling Logs sandpainting the Navajos depicted a story of Tsil-ol-ne a hero who went on a long journey Tsil-ol-ne floated on a hollow log traveling down the river which is known as the San Juan River today and there he learned ritual ceremonies to cure sickness and how to farm When Tsil-ol-ne turned to his home he shared all new ideas with his people The sandpainting got its name as Whirling Logs due to the hero and his logs which were trapped in a whirlpool where the San Juan River and Colorado River meet and he was rescued by the gods In the center of the sandpainting is the whirling cross with Yeis who are the gods of the Navajos seating in pair on each of the four ends One is a male dressing in black with a round head mask and the other is a female dressing in white with a square head mask The Yeis taught Tsil-ol-ne how to farm and grow seeds At the four corners of the whirling cross starting from the top right corner clockwise there are plants corn beans squash and tobacco Figures around the four
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