Melvin Bainbridge

Tsetah Dibé - TimeKeeper For The Nightway Ceremony

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Acrylic and Oil



Tsetah Dibé can be translated as Mountain Sheep Among The Rocks in Navajo (pronounced say tah di bay). This is considered a winter constellation. It is a small cluster of stars, somewhat dim, located in the Beehive Cluster of Cancer. It can be seen on very dark nights, almost overhead, around midnight, from Navajo Land. It is one of the nearest open clusters to the Solar System, and it contains a larger star population than most other nearby clusters. Under dark skies the Beehive Cluster looks like a nebulous object to the naked eye. Tsetah Dibé, the Mountain Sheep, is a major timekeeper for certain healing ceremonies which occur during the winter. One of these ceremonies is the famed Nine Night Ceremony, also referred to as the Nightway. The movement of the constellation from east to west is significant as a time indicator to tell the coming of dawn, which completes certain parts of the ceremony. Ancient cultural stories tell of the Mountain Sheep and the songs in the Nightway ceremony sing about Tsetah Dibé.


Tsetah Dib4 is often translated as Mountain Sheep, or Among the rocks. It is pronounced say tah di bay.


The Mountain Sheep is translated as "Among the rocks Sheep" in Navajo.


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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