Original Navajo Painting of Buffalo and Peyote Imagery by Beatien Yazz

C4240B-paint.jpg

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Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Watercolor
  • Size:
    16" x 12-7/8" image;
    25-3/4” x 21-3/4” framed
  • Item # C4240B
  • Price: $1,200.00

This Navajo painting by Diné artist Beatien Yazz features colorful peyote imagery.  Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a cactus which contains a powerful hallucinogen called mescaline.  With the notable exception of use for religious purposes, peyote has been illegal in the United States since 1970.  Members of the Native American Church—a religion which teaches a combination of traditional Native beliefs and Christianity—use peyote as a sacred sacrament. Its ceremonial use allows its members to connect with “the Great Spirit”.  Yazz was a member of the Native American Church, which explains how this image came to be.

We don’t often see peyote imagery in Diné and Pueblo paintings; it seems to have been used much more frequently by Plains artists.  This painting is unique in that regard, but otherwise, it’s classic Yazz—bright, colorful, lively, and meticulously detailed. Front and center, the viewer sees a peyote fan.  Behind the fan, a peyote bird passes, moving upward. Below the bird is the magical cactus itself. In upper left, the viewer sees a disembodied buffalo head. Two hooves are visible, too, moving through the scene in pace with the buffalo head.  At the bottom edge, a series of lines of increasingly bright warm colors crosses the piece horizontally.

Artist Signature - Beatien Yazz Little No Shirt - Jimmy Toddy, Diné ArtistThe painting is signed B. Yazz in lower right.

Beatien Yazz (1928-2012) Little No Shirt (Jimmy Toddy) was a painter who was born in 1928 on the Navajo Reservation.  At an early age, Yazz met Bill and Sallie Lippencott, traders at the Wide Ruins Trading Post. They recognized Yazz’s talent and made available to him scraps of paper and other equipment so that he might practice his artwork.  Alberta Hannum’s book Spin a Silver Dollar told the story of the Lippencotts and the young Navajo boy they encouraged.  The book was illustrated by the boy himself—Beatien Yazz. He served in the U.S. Marines in World War II and was a member of the famed Navajo Code Talkers. Following the war, he returned to the reservation and began to paint in earnest. He specialized in subjects familiar to him in his daily life on the reservation. He has been eminently popular with collectors since the 1950s.

The painting is placed under two layers of matting in a simple, beautiful wood frame.

Condition: this Original Navajo Painting of Buffalo and Peyote Imagery by Beatien Yazz is in excellent condition

Provenance: private East Coast collection

Recommended Reading: Yazz - Navajo Painter by J. J. Brody, et al.

Relative Links: Navajo ReservationSpin a Silver DollarPaint the WindpaintingsBeatien Yazz

Close up view.

Beatien Yazz, Navajo Nation Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: Watercolor
  • Size:
    16" x 12-7/8" image;
    25-3/4” x 21-3/4” framed
  • Item # C4240B
  • Price: $1,200.00

C4240B-paint.jpgC4240B-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.