Sahmie, Ida – “Sun and Two Yeis” Tile
This is one of the larger tiles we have had by Ida Sahmie. It is “Sun and Two Yeis”. These are figures often depicted in Navajo sandpaintings and rugs. “Yei” (pronounced “yay”) is the Navajo name for the benevolent supernatural beings who bring their healing power to medicinal ceremonies still performed today. On this tile, there are two Yei figures on either side of the sun in the center. They are both painted and etched. The sun is etched and then painted with four different colors for the feathers. Note how around the edge she has stippled it with bee-weed so it almost looks like a sandpainting! 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.