A long story could be told about this tool, because it is inspired by a traditional Navajo healing tool that has passed out of use, but we will keep the tale brief here. It was used traditionally to remove the energies of disease from patients. Only a few copies of these tools exist today in museum collections. The flattened end in our washin was slightly scooped in the original tools. Some speculate that herb powders were blown onto patients from the scooped end.
With one end flattened, we found this washin became the ideal tool for stroking the face. Patients look several years younger after a 10-minute treatment with the washin and feel wonderful. This sort of facial stroking became popular in Japan after the tsunami; it seemed to play a key role in treating many cases of PTSD.
Wa in Japanese means “harmony.” Our partner-silversmiths tell us that harmony is also a key feature of the Navajo worldview. They call it hozho – a combination of peace, harmony, beauty, balance all in one word. Because of this tool’s roots in Navajo and Japanese cultures we felt this was the perfect name for this beautiful tool.