Not only impressive, handsome, and extremely well-carved, this figure is really unusual.
It was created by an accomplished Navajo carver; that is unusual in itself, and the subject is rare, also, since it is Navajo.
Not really a kachina, which would have to be a Hopi or Zuni manifestation of a spirit, this is a beautifully detailed carving of a male, Navajo ceremonial dancer.
The blue-faced Yebe’chei’s dance during the Nightway ceremony, one of the most sacred and powerful, that takes place over nine nights, in winter.
It is meant to be curative, that is, to restore harmony (the Navajo ideal) when someone has returned from the military, for example.
An equal number of male and female dancers are led by the white-faced Yebe’chei, the Talking God.
On the last night, they dance until dawn, and sing the Bluebird song: this chant celebrates the happiness
and peace that the bluebird symbolizes.
This powerfully tranquil and beautiful carving honors that chant, and that ceremony.
Wrapped in a gracefully folded blanket, the figure wears a turquoise and shell heishi necklace, that is finely detailed and carved, an evergreen ruff, and two eagle feathers on his head.
The toe of one moccasin peeps out from the long blanket, while beautifully incised and painted, decorative bluebirds flit over the sides of the robe.
Every element, even his long hair, is carved and painted by hand.
The repeated use of teal blue paint enlivens the natural wood and integrates the design.
This is truly very uncommon, and uncommonly beautiful.
There is a companion, female dancer, carving by the same artist on this website, as well. they would make a rare and beautiful pair.