Melvin Bainbridge

Nahookos Biko’ - Central Fire Of The Sky – Polaris, The North Star

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Acrylic and Oil


Nahookos Biko’ or Polaris, can be translated as the Central Fire in Navajo (pronounced Na hoe kos bih kwo). Representing the cosmic center of the Navajo Night Sky. It is a central fire of a Navajo hogan or home, and connects the two other Nahookos constellations which are situated opposite one another, Big Dipper and Cassiopeia. These turning movements are used as a guide to time during the night as well as for the direction North. They change with the seasons, also providing a seasonal guide. Nahookos Biko’, the North Star, does not move, thus providing balance and stability to the cosmic process.

In Navajo culture the central fire in a traditional hogan or home has multiple values and is extremely important. Thus Nahookos Biko’ provides warmth and tranquility as well as a focus, place and means for ceremonial healing. The fire is located in the center of the round hogan. Traditionally it was on the ground, but today it is often in a metal wood burning stove.

Indigenous Education Institute

The Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) is an Indigenous-based, non-profit (501.c3) corporation, based in Friday Harbor, WA. The mission of the Institute is to promote, preserve and apply traditional Indigenous knowledge to contemporary life. This includes research and educational projects of all kinds. IEI is committed to using Indigenous knowledge to promote and understand the importance of the interconnections of all things. IEI is committed to the restoration of imbalance and sustaining an ecologically sound environment.

IEI acknowledges that the earth is an integral part of a much larger universe. Stories are often told in the Indigenous world of the connections between Mother Earth and Father Sky. We are made of the same chemistry as the stars. Studies of Indigenous astronomies illuminate these connections and show the participation of humans in the universe. Our website:

About Our Prints

The giclée prints are produced on high quality archival materials: Breathing Color Elegance Velvet Platinum Fine Art Paper - A 310gsm, bright white, fine art paper with a lightly textured vellum surface; a 100% cotton fiber paper offering a better color gamut and D-Max than any other velvet surface paper on the market.

Stretched Canvas Prints

We offer 3/4" solid hardwood stretcher bars with back staple. Prints are on Breathing Color Chromata white , acid free, cotton-poly blend matte artist stretch canvas. All stretched prints are protected with a matte finish archival UV varnish. If you prefer semi gloss or gloss please let us know.

Matting and Framing

If you prefer to have your giclée print framed and matted by our Gallery please let us know. We will provide you with a fair price and adjust the shipping charges to reflect the mat, frame, and glass. We would be pleased to perform this work for you.


The original painting is in a private collection

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