I Found An Art: H.R. Begaye Yei Dancer Sand Painting

H.R. Begaye Yei Dancer Sand Painting

Another find from the incomparable junk store called Buy and Sell up on St. Clair Avenue. This is a sand painting, called Yei Dancer, and is signed by the Navajo artist H.R. Begaye (aka War Eagle).

Like many Navajo art forms, there are two traditions of sand painting. One is for ceremonial use and is carried out as part of a ritual by a healer. Traditionally, these sandpaintings are destroyed at the end of the healing ceremony. The second form is art made for art’s sake, usually created on a piece of particle board (like this one)  using finely crushed stone applied over a glue base.

The only info I could find on Begay was in this article about modern artists who use the tradition of sandpainting to create more contemporary work. As you can see here, the Yei dancer is portrayed in a much less naturalistic form than more traditional, stylized figures.