Indian Sand Painting

Abundance of Fishes Sand paintings are stylized, symbolic pictures, done during religious rituals or healing ceremonies. Native Americans, Tibetans monks, Australian Aboriginals and a few others practice sand painting. In Indian sand paintings (Navajo Paintings), the Medicine Man (or Singer) paints loosely upon the ground, or on some occasions, on a buckskin or cloth tarp, by letting the colored sands flow through his fingers with control and art.

The colors for the painting are usually made with naturally colored sand, crushed gypsum (white), yellow ochre, red sandstone, charcoal, and a mixture of charcoal and gypsum.

Brown can be made by mixing red and black; red and white make pink. Other coloring agents include corn meal, flower pollen, or powdered roots and bark. The paintings are usually associated with some ceremony. About 600 different pictures are known, consisting of various representations of deities, animals, lightning, rainbows, plants, and other symbols described in the chants that accompany various rites. In healing, the choice of the particular painting is left to the curer. Upon completion of the picture, the patient sits on the center of the Indian paintings, and sand from the painting is applied to parts of his body. Because of the sacred nature of the ceremonies, the Indian sandpaintings are begun, finished, used, and destroyed within a twelve hour period.

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Explore the colors and images of incredible India at this rare online gallery of Indian Paintings, consisting magnificent Madhubani paintings, mysterious Warli paintings, Patachitras, Tribal Paintings, Thangka Paintings and also contemporary Indian art paintings.