Painter, as well as sculptor, David K John has won many major awards for his work. Raised by his great-grandfather, a medicine man, his work is based on the traditional Navajo lore he absorbed, growing up.
Like all his pieces, this impressive dragonfly Yei communicates a serene spirituality, as well as a lively and harmonious color palette.
It represents prayers and hopes for water, that most precious commodity in the high desert. Repeated spirals, parallel lines, and circles, all symbolize water in some form.
Blues and greens refer to water, sky and crops, while the soft russet hue that predominates refers to the land.
Double crosses are ancient symbols for dragonflies, which hover over and around waterways.
The piece is figural, depicting a Yei, a Navajo spirit who mediates between humans and the heavens. The different colors of the circles on the wings refer to water drops in the different seasons of the year.
Feathers on the head convey the prayers for water; birds fly so high they seem to reach the heavens.
There is a ruff around the figure’s neck, and a double strand of “heishi” beads, as the actual Yei dancers would appear.
Except for the feathers and the little bundle of twigs, the piece is entirely made of clay.
A striking blend of cheerful colors and shapes, as well as a visual representation of ancient spiritual principles, it will be a delightful and unique accent piece on your wall.