Navajo sandpainting demonstration planned Saturday evening at library

Mitchell Silas, a full-blooded Diné (Navajo), born and raised in his ancestral lands, will present a sandpainting demonstration at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fairfield Public Library.

Silas has been assisting in sacred healing ceremonies and doing traditional sandpaintings since his early teens. When he learned the creation stories and prophecies that are part of the ceremonies, he recognized that all humans are the children of one Creator, and saw how the prophecies are especially relevant today.

Silas later learned the process to make permanent sandpaintings from his mentor David Villaseñor. The two processes are very different and Silas has become a master at both.

Silas has traveled since the 1980s demonstrating the rarely seen ceremonial sandpaintings and displaying artwork from his permanent palette. He has traveled extensively in North America and has toured Northern Europe and Russia. He has been featured on TV, video and radio, and has taught both types of sandpainting in classes of all ages.

Silas?s rich traditions influence his mission to share his traditions. ?We have to share our traditions, or they will die with us,? he said.

The free sandpainting demonstration is sponsored by the Baha?is of Fairfield.

For information, contact Karen Jentz at 209-8999.