Sahmie, Ida — “Day & Night Chant” Jar
5"w x 6.5"h
This jar is a new design by Ida Shamie. Her work utilized traditional Navajo imagery for her patterns. The jar has one side which has a Night Dance and the other which has the Day Dance. The figures are male Yei-bi-chi dancers encircling the jar. On the night side, the background area is fully painted with bee-weed (a plant) to make it black. In the center image above is the fire around which the dancers are circling. It is a wonderful attempt to create a “3D” story on the vessel! The Day scene has the clouds and the mesa in the background. What truly makes her work so distinctive is that the figures are not just painted, but they are also etched into the clay! The faces and the designs on the kilts are also all etched into the clay! Note as well the cloud design around the rim, which is the design on the Navajo wedding baskets. One of our favorite parts, however, is near the base of the jar and the shadows she paints of the dancers! Ida is a daughter-in-law of Priscilla Nampeyo. 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.