Sahmie, Ida – “The Sacred Chant” Tile
This is an complex tile by Ida Sahmie. It is the Day Chant Dance or “Talking God, Four Dancers, The Sacred Chant”. There are with four male Yei-bi-chi dancers in a line with the “Talking God” figure at the front of the line. They are painted with natural clay slips and bee-weed (a plant) for the black. 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 bottom of the tile. 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 back in the clay, “Ida Sahmie”.