Multifaceted Deities


Sachmet – the Egyptian goddess of war and healing

Business trips are far less glamorous than one might think, especially spending extended time in countries which do not provide a safe environment to venture out and explore.

On a positive note, this leaves ample time to take a deep dive into the project at hand and accomplish some major progress 🙂

As we are finalizing the database part of this project, and having catalogued and categorized nearly 1400 designs (rugs and baskets), it is about time to start breathing life into each catalogue number by providing a brief description of the stories and symbols depicted, as well as other influences that might have led to a certain design.

Hence I am immersing myself into Dine’ legends and stories utilizing the website of the Twin Rocks Trading Post as my main anchor, as they have a superb section on anything and everything you ever wanted to know on this topic – thank you Damian for compiling and posting all of this on the website back in the day!

Reading up on Coyote, First Woman and Fire God amongst others, makes me realize how multifaceted these deities / beings are. They can be treacherous and at the same time something good might come out of their actions. They can personify good and evil aspects. They make great role models for humans, as it is easy to identify ourselves with them and their actions.

If I compare the Dine’ pantheon, if you so will, with the Greek and Roman pantheon, than it becomes very evident how black and white those gods are described. Very one dimensional, as most of them  personify one human aspect which is heightened similar to a superhero. They do not show much of a character development at all. The human emotions they portrait are greed, warmongery, jealousy etc., mostly character flaws if you ask me.

Looking at the Egyptian pantheon, Sachmet comes to mind, the goddess of war, which at the same time personifies a great healer – duality equal to what I read in the Dine’ legends – but Sachmet is an exception to the rule.

How did I end up sneaking an ancient Egyptian goddess into this blog? No idea – I guess it’s difficult to completely forget ones roots.

until next time…….







Welcome to the Byting Willows Project!

Welcome friends, collectors, and design aficionados, this blog will update everyone involved with the Byting Willows Project.

For those of you that are new here, a little bit of background information.

The origins of the Byting Willows Project lie in the artwork that Dine’ artist and graphic designer Damian Jim created  in the nineties and early two thousand for the Twin Rocks Trading Post in Bluff Utah. The designs sparked a revolution in contemporary Dine’ basket weaving, and was featured in various basket books and an exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah in 2013.  The story of this revolution has been told from the weavers perspective and showcased examples of the finished baskets in a large design catalog.

This project will – for the first time – tell the story from the perspective of the graphic designer himself as well as publish a complete catalog of his designs in a book and an accompanying App.

The venture will culminate in an exhibit at 1Spot Gallery in Phoenix Arizona, in Spring 2015.  The exhibit will tell the story with examples of the weaving’s and demonstrate how strong the designs are when interpreted by master artists in other materials.

Join us on this exciting journey as well will update you regularly on its progress on this blog!

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