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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Rare Native American Navajo Talking God or Yéi Bichéi Holyway Ceremonial Shaman’s Mask"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Hide with abstract designs in charcoal and clay pigments an Eagle feather tied to one side a shell to each eye and to the mouth sinew attachments
Size: 40cm high, 32cm wide (max) – 15¾ ins high, 12½ ins wide (max)
cf: Brooklyn Museum New York cat no. 03.183 and 03.184 for two similar examples
A Photograph by Simeon Schweinberger of 1905 showing three Navajo wearing similar masks in Smithsonian Institute National Anthropological Archives, Washington DC
In ancient times the Navajo were semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers moving in a seasonal round collecting wild plants and hunting game from favoured campsites. They learned farming techniques from their Pueblo Indian neighbours, such as the Hopi, but would supplement supplies by raiding the villages for their ripe crops. They eventually lived in close proximity to the Hopi and adapted many aspects and elements of their culture to suit themselves, including the weaving of textiles. This ‘Talking God’ mask was probably inspired by Pueblo prototypes.