Navajo Yei Weaving
This Contemporary Navajo Weaving is a ‘Navajo Yei’ design By Navajo Weaver Bessie Yazzie. The weaving measures 2ft 6 inches x 5ft 8inches.
“Yei” (pronounced “yay”) is the Navajo name for the benevolent supernatural beings who bring their healing power to medicinal ceremonies still performed today. In fact, they were first portrayed in traditional sand painting designs created for these ceremonies, but the modern Yei rug is more of a pictorial composition, showing a row of the front- facing stylized stick figures. Between the Yei’s cornstalks, feathers and arrows may appear, and a Rainbow Guardian often surrounds and protects the figures on three sides, indicating the sand painting roots of this particular style.
Some weavers of Yeis have a ceremony performed to show respect and keep harmony in their lives. In color, anything goes in the weaving of a Yei rug. A dozen or more hues may be used.
These intriguing rugs are strongly representative of the Navajo culture. Navajo ceremonialism centers on a desire for healing: not only physical health, but also mental, emotional, spiritual, and even material well-being. The “Holy People” portrayed in the Yei rugs are believed to restore heal when called upon in a properly conducted ceremony.