Tso, Faye – Water Jar with Double Yei Figures (1980s)
Faye Tso was one of the first Navajo potters to use unconventional imagery in her pottery. While traditional Navajo pottery has very little decoration, Tso applied images of corn maidens, lizards, and dancers to the surface of the clay. Her grandson, Jarred Tso, is also an important younger potter who is carrying on this amazing family tradition. This is one of her most famous designs on a classic tall jar. The jar is coil-built and there is a Yei figure on each side. Each Yei is raised in relief and the center is incised. Yei figures are often seen 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. The rim of the jar has incised rainbow designs. The jar was traditionally fired and is covered at the end with pinon pitch. It is signed on the bottom in the clay, “Faye Tso”. It is in excellent condition with no chips, cracks, restoration, or repair. Definitely a great piece of Navajo pottery history!