Yeibichai Dancers with Medicine Man and Patient

  • Tom Yazzie, Yeibichai Dancers with Medicine Man and Patient, ca. 1991-1992, carved and painted cottonwood, sand, 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

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.

Title
Yeibichai Dancers with Medicine Man and Patient
Artist
Date
ca. 1991-1992
On View
Dimensions
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
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted cottonwood, sand
Classifications
Keywords
  • Ceremony – dance – Yeibichai Dance
  • Figure group
  • Ethnic – Indian – Navajo
  • Ceremony – Indian – Medicine Ceremony
  • State of being – illness
  • Occupation – medicine – doctor
Object Number
1997.124.103A-Q
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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