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David K. John As They Guide Them Back


Item Number: DR 5114
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Artist: David K. John
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Age: 2021
Dimensions: 30” X 24”



The Yei dancers are part of the Navajo ceremonies. They protect the water, earth, sky, plants, and mountains. They come as spirit beings from Mother Earth and are called upon during ceremonies to heal the people and to bring seasonal changes.

During ceremony, there is a a team will be made up of fourteen dancers  On the final night, teams of dancers appear in public and dance until just before dawn. The ceremony ends just before sunrise with the chanting of the “Bluebird Song” which celebrates the happiness and the peace that the bluebird symbolizes.

In this painting, the bluebirds are guiding the Yeis back to their homes in the mountains. The ceremony is finished. David has chosen to use vivid colors to reflect the very early morning sky as the ceremony ends at sunrise. The rest of the colors toward the lower section of the painting is rather dark as the sun is just beginning to rise in the East. The Yei figures are holding a basket of corn meal as blessings to the people, while the little blue birds are gathered around ready to lead them on their journey homeward.

Condition: Excellent – original condition – new.
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist.