Navajo Woman

  • Johnson Antonio, Navajo Woman, 1986, carved and painted cottonwood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak, 1987.62

Execution Date
"My children didn't have toys to play with, so I found a piece of wood and started cutting and shaping it." Johnson Antonio, AARP Magazine, 1992
Luce Center Label

Johnson Antonio carves Navajo figures from cottonwood, using an axe to form a rough shape, and a pocketknife to create the detail. He paints the surface with house paint, watercolors, and dleesh, a fragile white clay used by the Navajos to paint their bodies, and sometimes adds real animal hair or horns (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia, 1990). In Navajo Woman and Rabbit Hunter the rough surfaces reflect the harshness of survival on the slopes of New Mexico's Bisti hills.

Navajo Woman
On View
13 3/8 x 3 1/2 x 3 in. (34.0 x 8.9 x 7.7 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak

Mediums Description
carved and painted cottonwood
  • Ethnic – Indian – Navajo
  • Figure female – elderly – full length
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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