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Yeibichai Dancers with Medicine Man and Patient by Tom Yazzie / American Art
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Yeibichai Dancers with Medicine Man and Patient

ca. 1991-1992 Tom Yazzie Born: Fort Defiance, Arizona 1930 carved and painted cottonwood, sand overall: 12 7/8 x 51 1/4 x 7 3/4 in. (32.7 x 130.2 x 19.7 cm.) A (base): 3/4 x 51 1/4 x 7 in. (1.9 x 130.2 x 17.8 cm.) B (medicine man): 10 1/2 x 4 x 3 1/2 in. (26.7 x 10.2 x 8.9 cm.) C (woman with basket): 9 1/2 x 4 x 3 in. (24.1 x 10.2 x 7.6 cm.) D (first man in mask): 12 x 3 7/8 x 3 3/4 in. (30.5 x 9.8 x 9.5 cm.) E (first woman in mask): 8 7/8 x 3 1/2 x 3 in. (22.5 x 8.9 x 7.6 cm.) F(second man in mask): 11 1/8 x 4 1/4 x 3 3/4 in. (28.3 x 10.8 x 9.5 cm.) G (second woman in mask): 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 3 in. (21.6 x 8.9 x 7.6 cm.) H (third man in mask): 11 x 3 1/2 x 4 in. (27.9 x 8.9 x 10.2 cm.) I (third woman in mask): 9 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 3 3/4 in. (24.1 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm.) J (fourth man in mask): 10 1/2 x 3 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (26.7 x 9.8 x 8.9 cm.) K (fourth woman in mask): 8 3/4 Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment 1997.124.103A-Q Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 26B



Luce Center Label

The Yeibichai are supernatural beings who created the Navajo people and taught them how to live in harmony with the universe. This piece represents the Nightway ceremony of the Navajos, in which a medicine man calls upon the power of the Yeibichai to heal someone. The ceremony also involves a dance with fourteen people: six men, six women, a dancer representing the Talking God, and one representing the Water Sprinkler. Tom Yazzie has depicted all of the participants in this sacred ceremony in his carving, wearing their ceremonial masks and headdresses to resemble the Yeibichai.

Keywords

Ceremony - dance - Yeibichai Dance

Ceremony - Indian - Medicine Ceremony

Ethnic - Indian - Navajo

Figure group

Occupation - medicine - doctor

State of being - illness

sculpture

folk art

paint

sand

wood - cottonwood

About Tom Yazzie

Born: Fort Defiance, Arizona 1930