Mother Earth, Father Sky JarIda Sahmie
This Navajo woman has a unique background: she married into an iconic Hopi pottery family (the Nampeyos) and has become a top, award-winning potter.
She is noted for her fine, thin-walled pots, using Hopi clays, but usually with Navajo subjects, as here.
Mother Earth and Father Sky are among the best-known Navajo symbols. They are easy to recognize and have a universal appeal.
Ida has depicted this iconic duo in her well-known “hybrid” style, combining Hopi clays with her Navajo design.
The two figures are painted with her usual grace, but their details do not conform, exactly, to their depictions in ceremonial sand paintings.
That would be akin to blasphemy, so she has altered this and that. Nevertheless, Both Mother and Father are recognizable, and beautifully done.
Mother Earth is painted in appropriately warm russet, like the red earth of the Reservation, with signs of the Four Sacred Directions.
Father Sky is shown, as always, with a black center, and various symbols of the night sky – stars, moon, etc. as well as the four directions.
This symbol means that the influence of the figures extends to the four corners of the world.
Each is surrounded by a personal version of a rainbow yei. The graceful oval form of the piece is matched and enhanced by the sweeping curve of the rainbows, the elongated figures, and their placement.
Another beautifully made and decorated pot by this eminent artist, done with her customary finesse and even more elegance.