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  • Writer's pictureKathy Winkler Studio

A Stargate Connection - Pharaoh

I could not resist naming this beautiful Navajo Churro ram “Pharaoh”. He looked every bit exotic and totally in charge and rather looks like a Greek god. Pharaoh is a Greek word meaning King. The Pharaoh was the most powerful person in Egypt who decided the laws of his people, his land, as well as the entire universe. The ancient Egyptians believed that the Pharaoh was the son of the Sun god. To watch this ram strut across his paddock with his head held high was befitting of a king, or a pharaoh.

The introduction of the Churro to the Navajo people of the Southwest has been noted as ‘revolutionary’, because they relied on the Churros for food and fiber, and their hair was used in the development of the renowned Rio Grande weaving style. The Churros built up slowly for nearly 50 years increasing their impact on Navajo lives to be of equal importance to farming, resulting in the ‘churra’ being the dominant genotype in Navajo flocks.

Taking “tons” of photos of this magnificent ram got me so excited to do a painting of him. I was so fascinated by his gorgeous horns that curled around next to his face. I could hardly wait to paint the ridges in his horns and the way the hair fell softly down from his neck into a crisscross pattern.

The Churro has many color variations. They can be solid white, brown, gray or black, or they can be white with black patches on the ears and face and around the eyes. This lovely Churro is solid brown, with a goldish tint. If you look at his horns, you will note the ridges along the top, which smooth out as the horns curl, making a loop, and finally ending just as magnificently as they had started. Horns usually have a curved or spiral slope, often with ridges or fluting.

I became acquainted with this ram at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, NM on one of my many visits to Las Cruces over several years. He is truly a beautiful example of his breed.


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