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Navajo - "Night Chant" Bowl by Ida Sahmie (Navajo) SOLD

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Price: $495.00
SOLD - Please call us for more information
Item Number: PUHP151

The shadows of eight Yeibichai dancers are cast by the fires they are dancing around during the Night Way ceremony depicted on this fascinating pot by Ida Sahmie. The outlines of mesas and a starry sky can be seen in the background.

Ida Sahmie grew up in a family of weavers, but began to make pottery in 1984 after watching her mother-in-law, Priscilla Namingha, a noted Hopi potter and descendent of Nampeyo. Her husband's family taught her the Hopi way to make pottery, from preparing preparing the clay to firing without creating the distinctive, dark fire clouds usually seen in Navajo pottery, to making her own slips from minerals and beeweed. Ida decided to paint images based on Navajo sandpaintings and ceremonies on her pots to honor her heritage. From her perfectly shaped, thin walled pots to the realistic way in which she renders the sandpainting images or Night Way dances, her outstanding blends of Hopi and Navajo traditions are always distinctive and have made her pottery very collectible.

Contemporary American Indian pottery is the legacy of a tradition thousands of years old. To be considered a "traditional" piece of pottery the potter must dig the clay out of the ground and construct the pot entirely by hand without the use of a potter's wheel. Many traditional potters eschew the use of electric kilns for firing their work, instead using an outdoor pit fueled by wood and dung. Designs are either carved or scratched into the surface of a dried piece before it is fired. Designs can also be applied with a "slip", a thin mixture of water and clay. Different clays, ground minerals, or plant materials are used to make slips of different colors. Many Navajo potters coat their pieces with pine pitch, which gives them a lustrous finish. No glaze is ever used in traditional American Indian pottery. Pottery with a shiny finish has been polished by rubbing the surface of the piece with smooth stones. Often a single piece will incorporate several of these techniques.

Height: 3", Diameter: 3.75"