Navajo Yei Weaving, ca. 1935
This is a rug that I inherited from my grandmother. She was a collector of Native American art. And, as I understand it, she acquired this rug in the '30s. I have done no further research on it.
What you have here is a great weaving made by the Navajo Indians in New Mexico and Arizona. This particular weaving depicts figures called Navajo Yei figures, and that's spelled Y-E-I. And the Navajo Yei is a deity figure. When the Yei figures appear to the Navajo people, they are performing a nine-day healing ceremony. The Yei figures appear after the first hard frost in the late fall, early winter, usually in December sometime. When the weaver weaves a weaving like this, it's woven on a vertical upright loom. The weaving is woven... ...this way. The Navajo weavers use no patterns. These are designs that she creates as she weaves.
As she's working.
Okay. How interesting.
She has used hand-spun wool yarns. This a natural brown yarn; this is a natural cream yarn, and they've carded the two colors together. And they've made this sort of heathery gray-brown color out of these two colors here. The other colors are aniline dyes. And the figures are heavily embellished with jewelry and clothing, their headgear. He's holding in his hands the ribboned streamers that contain eagle feathers. And then these are eagle feathers here. These double bars, they're little guardian figures, and they're spaced throughout the weaving for protection. The weaving is from the 1930s, from the Four Corners area of the Navajo reservation. If you were to have it appraised for insurance purposes...
...for replacement cost, this weaving could easily be appraised at $12,000 to $15,000.
Oh, my goodness.
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