Art: Charley and the Grandson

In a big flat sandbox floored with fine, clean sand, on the third floor of Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, squatted two full-blooded Navajo medicine men. The elder, Charley Turquoise, sported a bushy black mustache that belied his 73 years. The younger one was Dinay Chilli Bitsoey, which means "Short Man's Grandson." They were practicing one of the oldest and most mysterious arts in the U. S.

While museum visitors watched, Charley Turquoise and his helper squatted in the sand, crosslegged, smoothed it carefully with a long paddle, began carefully covering it with colored...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!