Painting of Young Diné Girl Gathering Tea [SOLD]

C4158D-paint.jpg

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Harrison Begay, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    9-½” x 7-½”: image;
    14-¾” x 12-⅝”: framed
  • Item # C4158D
  • SOLD

The high desert climate of the Navajo Reservation provides the perfect growing conditions for Navajo Tea. Also known as “Greenthread” or “Thelesperma”, it is a wild plant that thrives in the mid-summer heat. It is characterized by small yellow flowers that appear when the plant is ready to be harvested.  The stems—which feel like small, stiff straws without leaves—are what is used for tea. Correct harvesting requires that the plant not be pulled up by the roots. After harvesting, the stems are tied into small bundles and boiled. Traditionally, the tea is used for a variety of ailments. It is known to soothe sore throats and comfort upset stomachs. The herb contains flavonoids that are known to prevent inflammation and purify the blood.  While in past times the harvesting of the tea was an annual family ritual, it is now possible to purchase the tea in bags at stores.

Artist Signature - Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké Ya Níyá-The Wandering BoyThis small painting by Harrison Begay (1917-2012) features a young Diné woman gathering the aforementioned plants.  She’s dressed beautifully, depicted accurately and carefully, and pictured in profile and in motion. A soft wash of pink and white provides the ground on which she stands.  Bolder applications of the same colors create two lively clouds, which are linked together by a rainbow. This is a classic Begay image that was executed in the 1970s, during what many regard as one of his strongest periods.  

Artist Signature - Harrison Begay (1917-2012) Haashké Ya Níyá-The Wandering BoyHarrison Begay (1917-2012) was a world-renowned Diné (Navajo) painter who is generally regarded as one of the most successful and influential early Native American painters.  Begay studied under Dorothy Dunn at the Santa Fe Indian School in the 1930s, and then attended colleges in North Carolina and Arizona. From 1942 to 1945, he served in the US Army Signal Corps.  In 1947, Begay returned to the Navajo reservation, where he enjoyed a long and productive career as a painter. He is known to have continued painting into his 90s. Begay passed away in 2012.


Condition: this Painting of Young Diné Girl Gathering Tea is in excellent condition

Provenance: from the large collection of a New Mexico resident who purchased it in the 1970s while living in Gallup, NM

Relative Links: Diné - NavajoHarrison BegayDorothy DunnNative American Paintings

Close up view of an area of this painting.

Harrison Begay, Navajo Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Diné - Navajo Nation
  • Medium: watercolor
  • Size:
    9-½” x 7-½”: image;
    14-¾” x 12-⅝”: framed
  • Item # C4158D
  • SOLD

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