Williams, Lorraine – Long Neck Jar Ya’ackidi’ Yei Figures
This is an exceptional large jar by Lorraine Williams. The jar is coil built and the designs are etched into the clay before firing. There are four “Hunchback Yei” figures on the neck. This is a fascinating figure used in Navajo weavings and sandpaintings. The figure has a “hump” which is actually a black back or cloud containing seeds of all vegetation. The symbolism of the seeds is most likely seen in Lorraine’s interpretation as there are small dots on the black back on the figure’s back. The Hunchback Yei figures are typically depcited in groups of four. Around the rim are cloud patterns. Separating the figures are star designs. Below the figures is a band representing a river and below that is a complex rug design. Lorraine paints the slips and colors onto the jar to accentuate the designs. After the jar has been traditionally fired it is covered in pine pitch, which is typical of all traditional Navajo pottery harkening back to when it was utilitarian and the pitch would make it water proof. The jar is signed on the bottom in the clay, “L W”. Lorraine has won numerous awards for her pottery and been featured in books such as “A Legacy of Generations”.