Home » Weaving the Dance: Navajo Yeibichai Textiles (1910-1950) by Rebecca M. Valette
Weaving the Dance: Navajo Yeibichai Textiles (1910-1950) Rebecca M. Valette

Weaving the Dance: Navajo Yeibichai Textiles (1910-1950)

Rebecca M. Valette

Published March 3rd 2001
ISBN : 9780963371027
Paperback
72 pages
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 About the Book 

Weaving the Dance is the first book to focus exclusively on the early development of a special category of 20th-century Navajo textiles known as Yeibichai weavings. These weavings are artistic interpretations of the Yeibichai dance, a sacred riteMoreWeaving the Dance is the first book to focus exclusively on the early development of a special category of 20th-century Navajo textiles known as Yeibichai weavings. These weavings are artistic interpretations of the Yeibichai dance, a sacred rite that provides a spectacular conclusion to the nine-day Navajo ceremony known as the Nightway. In spite of their theme, Yeibichai textiles were never intended for ceremonial use, but were produced exclusively for sale to an Anglo clientele willing to pay premium prices for them. By the 1930s, scholars were dismissing these novel weavings as bad examples of tourist art and a passing fad. Despite this dire prediction, weavings with ceremonial figures continued to be produced and now constitute a recognized and well-established category of Navajo textiles.The first Navajo weavings to feature stylized ceremonial figures in their designs captured the imagination of collectors as diverse as William Randolph Hearst, Marjorie Merriwether Post, and Chee Dodge, the first chairman of the Navajo Tribal Council.Today, early Yeibichai weavings are appreciated not for their ceremonial themes, but for their originality, beauty and relative scarcity. This book traces the stylistic evolution of the genre from the highly original and complex designs created in the 1910-1935 period, to the more standardized patterns which emerged in the late 1930s and 1940s.