Melvin Bainbridge

Ȃtsé Etsoh - First Big One, Symbol of Strength

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Acrylic and Oil


Ȃtsé Etsoh can be translated as First Big One in Navajo (pronounced A Tseh et soh). The upper part of Scorpius is located near the Southern horizon of Navajo Country. It is a large constellation located near the center of the Milky Way. This Constellation represents a Navajo elder standing with a cane and holding a basket of seeds, an image of cycles of life. He exemplifies the wisdom that comes with age and the process of regeneration. His cane signifies strength and stability. The basket represents the entire cosmos while the seeds are the regenerative growth process that provides life. The First Big One is a large constellation that includes the upper part of Scorpius and various surrounding stars. He shifts his position as summer progresses in Navajo Country. He is seen to be standing upright in the early summer months of June and July, but as summer turns into fall he will appear to tilt more until he is almost lying on his side in reference to the southern horizon. Navajos know that means winter is coming soon and hunting for deer can begin.
Ȃtsé Etsoh is associated with Atse Ets’ozi, Orion, in a relationship of complementarity. The two constellations are never seen together in the Night Sky. Implicit in the name Ȃtsé Etsoh is the concept of a cyclical cosmic emerging and evolving process.

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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