Nationality & Life Dates:
American, 1897 – 1964
Painted wood carving
20 x 8 1/2 x 5 inches
Purchase with funds from the Mattie Lou O'Kelley Endowment
This figure was carved and painted with bright, evocative colors by Charlie Willeto, a Navajo medicine man who created innovative wooden figures during his last four years. His work is informed by Navajo sources of figuration including sand paintings and textile design. This carving is considered one of the finest examples of Willeto’s earliest work, which he completed entirely on his own before beginning a collaboration with his wife. Its lightcolored face, horns, special markings, and stance suggests its relationship to the spirit world.