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Ida Sahmie, King Galleries, 2017

Ida Sahmie

Ida Sahmie brings life to traditional Navajo ceremonies in her unique pottery. All the clay and materials are gathered from Navajo land. The pottery is all coil built, stone polished and painted with natural clays and native materials and native fired. She was a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs. She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market. She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.

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Sahmie, Ida – “Four Sacred Plants” Jar

This is a very traditionally inspired jar by Ida Sahmie.  It is “The Four Sacred Plants”, which is a design often seen in sandpaintings.  Here, Ida has painted it on a stone polished jar using natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.  The four sacred plants are corn, beans, squash, and tobacco.  There are both painted and matte areas along with incised designs.   The tile was traditionally fired and it is signed on the back, “Ida Sahmie”.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.   The story of the Four Sacred Plants and the Dine people is as follows:

“Four Sacred Plants are assigned to the cardinal points, and amongst the Navajos Maize is the plant of the North, Beans of the east. This means that both are male and as both are grown for edible seeds, recognition of the physiological function of the male was probably involved in the selection. This is entirely possible since the convention could have been established only very late, after settlement in America. Squash, for the Navajos, is the plant of the South, which is fitting since its fruit is called “eight-sided” and the eight-sided earth (an alternative to the square earth, taking account of the diagonal directions) is female. Also the stalk is angled in sections, a feature deliberately exaggerated when the plant is depicted in sand paintings, and crooked things are female. Tobacco, which the Navajos put on the west, is female because it is used to make smoke which is blown out with the breath, and that is female. Below the Plants are white roots, the significance being that these plants still have their roots in the lower world.”

$ 325.00
Sahmie, Ida – Mini “Day Chant” Bowl

This is an amazingly intricate miniature by Ida Sahmie.  It is the Day Chant Dance with eight male Yei-bi-chi dancers encircling the jar.  The background area is fully polished the natural color of the clay.  In the background, there are the mesas, clouds, and even birds!  Note how she has also painted the shadows of each dancer extending to the base of the bowl.  Ida also incises into the clay for the faces and the bodies, leather and masks.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Ida Sahmie”.

$ 275.00
Sahmie, Ida – Mini “Night Chant” Bowl

This is an exceptional miniature by Ida Sahmie.  For the size, it has incredible detail, as one might expect from a great miniature in pottery!   It is the Night Chant Dance with eight male Yei-bi-chi dancers encircling the jar.  The background area is fully painted with bee-weed (a plant) to make it black.  In the background, there are the mesas, moon, and stars.  Ida also incises into the clay for the faces and the bodies, leather, and masks.  The detail here is quite exceptional!  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Ida Sahmie”.

“Yei bichei (Yébîchai), or “maternal grandfather of the yei”, is another name of Talking God who often speaks on behalf of the other Holy People. (He, along with Growling God, Black God, and Water Sprinkler, were the first four Holy People encountered by the Navajo.) He is invoked (along with eight other male yei) in the “Night Chant” or “Nightway” sometimes simply called “Yei bichei,” a nine-night ceremony in which masked dancers personify the gods.”

$ 275.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Yei-bi-Chi” Double Sided Tile

This is an unusual tile by Ida Sahmie.  The tile is fully polished and painted with natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.    The front side has the Yei-bi-Chi figure, often also called the “Talking God”, who is the first in a series of eight during the Night Chant.  The opposite side has the last figure.  The figures are etched into the clay and then slipped with clay to create the colorations.  Ida is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.  It is signed on the side in the clay, “Ida Sahmie”.

$ 250.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Father Sky” Tile

This is a very traditionally inspired tile by Ida Sahmie.  It is “Father Sky”, which is a design often seen in sandpaintings.  Here, Ida has painted it on a stone polished tile using natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.  Father Sky is in the center with the cosmos painted on the body.  Surrounding the figure is a rainbow design.  Note how areas are etched into the clay, as well as painted!  The tile was traditionally fired and it is signed on the back, “Ida Sahmie”.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.   The story of Father Sky and Mother Earth, and the Dine people is as follows:

“The Navajo people, the Diné, passed through three different worlds before emerging into this world, The Fourth World, or Glittering World. The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. The Holy People are believed to have the power to aid or harm the Earth People. Since Earth People of the Diné are an integral part of the universe, they must do everything they can to maintain harmony or balance on Mother Earth.  It is believed that centuries ago the Holy People taught the Diné how to live the right way and to conduct their many acts of everyday life. They were taught to live in harmony with Mother Earth, Father Sky and the many other elements such as man, animals, plants, and insects.”

$ 220.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Mother Earth” Tile

This is a very traditionally inspired tile by Ida Sahmie.  It is “Mother Earth”, which is a design often seen in sandpaintings.  Here, Ida has painted it on a stone polished tile using natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.  Mother Earth is in the center with the four sacred plants and other imagery painted on the polished red surface.  The face is etched.  There is a band below the figure which as polished and etched sections.  The tile was traditionally fired and it is signed on the back, “Ida Sahmie”.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.   The story of Father Sky and Mother Earth, and the Dine people is as follows:

“The Navajo people, the Diné, passed through three different worlds before emerging into this world, The Fourth World, or Glittering World. The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. The Holy People are believed to have the power to aid or harm the Earth People. Since Earth People of the Diné are an integral part of the universe, they must do everything they can to maintain harmony or balance on Mother Earth.  It is believed that centuries ago the Holy People taught the Diné how to live the right way and to conduct their many acts of everyday life. They were taught to live in harmony with Mother Earth, Father Sky and the many other elements such as man, animals, plants, and insects.”

$ 220.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Four Sacred Plants” Tile

This is a very traditionally inspired tile by Ida Sahmie.  It is “The Four Sacred Plants”, which is a design often seen in sandpaintings.  Here, Ida has painted it on a stone polished tile using natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.  The four sacred plants are corn, beans, squash, and tobacco.  There are both painted and matte areas along with incised designs.   The tile was traditionally fired and it is signed on the back, “Ida Sahmie”.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.   The story of the Four Sacred Plants and the Dine people is as follows:

“Four Sacred Plants are assigned to the cardinal points, and amongst the Navajos Maize is the plant of the North, Beans of the east. This means that both are male and as both are grown for edible seeds, recognition of the physiological function of the male was probably involved in the selection. This is entirely possible since the convention could have been established only very late, after settlement in America. Squash, for the Navajos, is the plant of the South, which is fitting since its fruit is called “eight-sided” and the eight-sided earth (an alternative to the square earth, taking account of the diagonal directions) is female. Also the stalk is angled in sections, a feature deliberately exaggerated when the plant is depicted in sand paintings, and crooked things are female. Tobacco, which the Navajos put on the west, is female because it is used to make smoke which is blown out with the breath, and that is female. Below the Plants are white roots, the significance being that these plants still have their roots in the lower world.”

$ 250.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Mother Earth & Father Sky” Bowl

This is a very traditionally inspired bowl by Ida Sahmie.  It is “Father Sky” on one side and “Mother Earth” on the other.  They are designs which are often seen in sandpaintings.  Here, Ida has painted them on a stone polished bowl using natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black.  Father Sky is in the center with the cosmos painted on the body.  Surrounding the figure is a rainbow design.  Mother Earth is in the center with the four sacred plants and other imagery painted on the polished red surface.  The face is etched and the figure is surrounded by a rainbow pattern.  The designs are all etched and painted onto the clay surface.  The bowl was traditionally fired and it is signed on the bottom, “Ida Sahmie” and it is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  She is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and Ida continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.   The story of Father Sky and Mother Earth, and the Dine people is as follows:

“The Navajo people, the Diné, passed through three different worlds before emerging into this world, The Fourth World, or Glittering World. The Diné believe there are two classes of beings: the Earth People and the Holy People. The Holy People are believed to have the power to aid or harm the Earth People. Since Earth People of the Diné are an integral part of the universe, they must do everything they can to maintain harmony or balance on Mother Earth.  It is believed that centuries ago the Holy People taught the Diné how to live the right way and to conduct their many acts of everyday life. They were taught to live in harmony with Mother Earth, Father Sky and the many other elements such as man, animals, plants, and insects.”

$ 650.00
Sahmie, Ida – “Day Chant” Jar with Ribbon (2012)

This is an exceptional jar by Ida Sahmie.  It is the Day Chant Dance with 15 male and female Yei-bi-chi dancers encircling the jar.  The top half of the jar is polished while the bottom half is matte.  The background area is the polished natural color of the clay.  In the background, there are the mesas, clouds, and even birds!  Note how she has also painted the shadows of each dancer extending to the base of the bowl.  Ida also etches into the clay for the faces and the bodies, leather, and masks of each dancer. The bottom of the jar is painted with a step cloud design, which is also used on Navajo wedding baskets.  The rim is polished red and painted with a mountain line and a spirit line break in the pattern. The jar is thin-walled and traditionally fired.  Ida is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo and she continues to make beautifully formed pottery with wonderfully complex designs.  She has won numerous awards for her pottery at events such as Santa Fe Indian Market.  She is the only Navajo potter creating this unique style of ethnographic pottery.  It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Ida Sahmie”.  This jar is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration or repair.  It also has a First Place ribbon from the 2012 Navajo Nation Fair.

$ 1,500.00
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