The Navajo Tree of Life design is one of the most endearing and unique of all the patterns that developed during the 20th century. These weavings are favorites for many people who love pictorials and they are often chosen as wedding gifts.
Most of these weavings picture a Navajo wedding basket and a corn stalk growing out of it. There are usually birds woven into the pattern, either sitting on the corn stalk leaves or flying around the plant.
The symbolism of the weaving is that during the Navajo wedding ceremony, Corn meal, from both families, is mixed in a basket with water and made into something of a mush. The bride and groom and the attendees at the wedding all share the mixture.
The corn plant in the basket symbolizes the joining of the two families into one.
Today, many weavers have taken this design a step further. This weaving, by Charlotte Begay from Teec Nos Pos, near the Four Corners, is a wonderful example. It pictures a tree with thirty distinctly different recognizable types of birds. The intricate border fades into the center design.