The spirit Yeis are protectors of the people and bring blessings to them. 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 send blessings to the people.
This spectacular painting is beautifully composed in striking shades of blue and turquoise with just a few touches of warm reds and yellows. Here the first Yei holds a basket of corn meal pollen as an offering. The hummingbirds, who are messengers, deliver the pollen to the water deities. This painting reflects the Navajo beliefs in the sacredness of water and offerings for abundant rain for crops.
“The Yei dancers are making offerings to the water for protection and remembering the water deities. The Yei are part of the water — that’s why they are coming out of the water. Water is sacred, when we travel and before we cross a river or a lake, we make offerings for good travel and protection.” David K John
The Navajo trace their lineages through clans in order to know how they are related. In this painting David honors his grandmas and grandpas who are of the Edge Water Clan.
Navajo has been matrilocal and matrilineal society. Every Navajo person is a part of 4 distinct and unrelated clans. One essential part of Navajo Clan system is introducing one’s paternal and maternal on both family sides whenever they meet another Navajo person or introducing oneself in public for the very first time. This has been considered as their way of knowing one another’s family members and relationship. In the present, the overall number of Navajo clans that were represented has been calculated in having more than 140 clans from 21 major groups. The Navajo Clan system has been their strength and this binds them together. The Navajo Kinship System is extending to the gods and the natural world. People have been always among their relatives. (Excerpted from navajocodetalkers.org/navajo-clan-system)
Condition: Excellent – original condition – new
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist