D. Y. Begay’s Winter in the North

Meet the Artists of Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

A textile work depicting a landscape with water, land, and mountains.

D. Y. Begay (Navajo), Náhookǫsjí Hai (Winter in the North)/Biboon Giiwedinong (It Is Winter in the North), 2018, wool and natural dyes, The Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Jane and James Emison Endowment for Native American Art, 2019.41. Photo: Addison Doty; Minneapolis Institute of Art. © D. Y. Begay

Artist’s Language

Naabeeh0 'asdz1n7 D.Y. Begay woly44 d00 'at['0h7 nil99 d00 Din4 bik4yah yinaagi k44hat'9. Naadiindi m77l y1zh7 d00 bi'aan tseeb77 ts'1adah bii' yihahgo d00 'Ats1 Biy11zh bii' yizi[ y65d33' D. Y. Begay bik4yahd00 dah diiy11 d00 n7l47 Grand Portage, Minnesotag00 '77y1, '1adi d77 diyog7 yidoot['00[ biniiy4. Grand Portage, Minnesota '47 Din4 bik4yahd00 n1hook-sjigo d00 ha'a'aahjigo bi[ haz'3. D. Y. Begay 47 diyog7 n47t['0h7g77 doo diyog7 b7daneeldin y65gi '1t'4ego n1'1t['0oh da, nidi diyog7 n47t['0h7g77 '47 n4l'98go t'00 yishdl4ezhgo naashch'22' nidahalin. Naabeeh0 bik4yah bik11'g00 '1dahonoolnin7g77 d00 '1dahoot'4h7g77 diyog7 yii'j8' dib4 bighaa' yee n47t['==h. Grand Portage hooly4egi binaagi t0 [a' siy9, '47 t0 siy7n7g77 Lake Superior woly4. 'Asdz1n7 d77 diyog7 yidoot['00[ t'11 b7ts4edi '47 '1[ts4 t0 siy7n7g77, Lake Superior woly4h7g77 d00 binaag00 '1dahoot'4h7g77 hais7idgo d7kw77 sh99 yisk3. Y4ego hay77sidgo yinahj8' d77 kwe'4 'a[k44' daasdzoh7g77 t'11'77shj1n7 d77 diyog7 bii' nidaashch'22' nahalingo yizt['=. '![ts4 '47 t0 day7lk'oo[go ts4 yik1a'j8' hadahalk'oo[go yizt['=, n11n1 w0nan7j7 '47 tsin adaaz'1h7g77 bine'd66' t'11 '77shj1n7 ha'd77d77n 11d00 'a[d0' hai bii' nahalzhiishgo y1 bii'j8' 1honoolnin7gi '1t'4ego n11n47zt['=. D77 diyog7 t'00 naashch'22' nahalin, 1ko n4l'98go hod4ezy4l7g77 baa '1kohoniidz88h.


In February 2018, Navajo textile artist D. Y. Begay traveled to Grand Portage, Minnesota, from her home in the Southwest to create this work. Begay’s textiles are abstract paintings on wool, drawn from her keen observations of specific landscapes, particularly within Diné Bikéyah, or Navajo land. In this instance, Begay spent days observing Lake Superior and its environs. Her attention to details, of waves crashing on rocks, the light behind trees, and the vast winter sky, helps convey the serenity of the place itself.