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Maker(s):Anonymous
Culture:Native American; Diné
Title:Yei Be Chei Figure
Date Made:n.d.-1970s
Type:Ceremonial
Materials:wood, yarn, imitation fur, satin, feathers, glass beads, sequins, leather, paint
Place Made:United States; Southeastern Utah; Northeastern Arizona; Northwestern New Mexico; Navajo Reservation
Measurements:height 8 in.; 20.32 cm
Accession Number:  SC 1981.25.22.1
Credit Line:Gift of Katherine Gabel, class of 1959
Museum Collection:  Smith College Museum of Art
1981_25_22_1_v1.jpg

Description:
This Yei Be Chei dancer depicts a somewhat odd rendition of a generalized Yei entity. The carving features a dark blue mask with a painted face, two eagle feathers protruding from his blue mask, a white back of the head (revealing that the blue countenance is merely a mask), and a fur headpiece, as well as neckpiece. The dancer's skin is painted white, and he has a brown chest sash, concha belt (with sequin meant to resemble silver medallions), fur pelt, and red "kilt" (also decorated with silver). He wears crudely painted red boots. In either hand is a white gourd rattle and a small "fluff" of cotton or wool. Although rattles are common accoutrements for Yei Be Chei healing ceremonies, the white fluff is not. AP2018

Tags:
men; religion; ceremonies; kachina dolls; dancers; masks

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=SC+1981.25.22.1

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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