In collaboration with our Dine partner-silversmiths, we were excited to develop a new shonishin tool inspired by the shape of a traditional Navajo healing tool. We are told that the Navajo tool was used traditionally to remove the energies of disease from patients, but has since passed out of use. Only a few copies of these tools exist today in museum collections. One end of the traditional tool was slightly scooped and the other had a hand shape to it. Some speculate that herb powders were blown onto patients from the scooped end.
Wa in Japanese means “harmony” and shin means “needle.” 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.
This version includes a circular turquoise inlay in the palm of the hand.