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David K. John Pottery Yei Figure Wall Mask


Item Number: DR 3133
Tribal Affiliation: Navajo
Artist: David K. John
Medium: Clay, slip, turquoise, feathers, sticks and paint
Age: Circa early 2000’s
Dimensions: height 20″ x 7” x 0.5″.


SKU: DR 3133 Categories: , , , , ,


This is a beautiful single figure 20″ wall mask reminiscent of a Navajo Yei figure. The masks are reminiscent of carved wood masks that are used by the Navajo in religious ceremonies.

The top of the mask has the representational face, while the bottom of the mask is carved in a representational kiva fashion with ancestral figures. There are decorative elements of feathers, reeds, and horsehair incorporated within the mask. The figure wears a small three strand heishi and turquoise necklace. The mouthpiece is raised and open to represent the singing or chanting of the Yei.  The specific colors of the mask signify the colors of the sky moving from early morning to dark night.

David’s grandfather taught him the traditional tales of Navajo lore, and he incorporates these memories in his vibrant work.  His clay wall masks are filled with Navajo symbolism, and religious and cultural traditions, while the image is modified to the satisfaction of his tribe’s spiritual leaders.

Condition: Excellent – original condition
Provenance: Acquired from a New Mexico collector. The backside includes a personal dedication to the collector.