York, Star Liana

Star Liana York - Blessing Way Bust


Additional Information

  • Medium: Bronze
  • Edition: 35
  • Circa: 1992
  • Size: 13'' x 7.5'' x 7''
"The Blessing Way emphasizes peace, harmony and good." *For several years Star has been contributing to the educational expenses of a young Navajo girl orphaned when her father was killed and her mother abandoned her. One summer the girl invited Star to be an honored guest at her Kinaaldeh Ceremony, a puberty ritual that formally initiates a girl into womanhood and assures her long life and happiness. The ceremony was conducted by a Navajo medicine woman whose strength of character and air of quiet power made a deep impression on Star. Precisely what was so extraordinary about this woman was difficult for Star to describe with words, so she tried to capture her presence in bronze.In a coincidence that was fortuitous, after Star had completed the piece she came across a passage in a book written in the 1930's by a female archaeologist that did manage to put into words a description of a Navajo medicine woman that was uncannily similar to the sculpture she just finished. "Her face was noble and beautiful. Her black velveteen blouse and wide purple skirt made a pleasing complement to her warm brown skin and black hair. Her hair was streaked with white at the temples and drawn severely back from a high forehead into a large double-knit tied with white cord at the back of her head. From her ears long loops of flexible turquoise beads hung, and around her neck were many valuable strings of turquoise, coral and white shell beads. On her brown and capable hands were silver and turquoise rings and bracelets. Indeed, she looked like the picture of the Queen of Sikkim, the Tibetan princess.... So I beheld this beautiful woman of the red Navajo earth. I could only liken her to an oriental queen. But I thought of Thomas Wolfe's memorable phrase, 'the imperturbable visage of eternity'." The Kinaaldeh Ceremony is a part of the Blessing Way, which Navajos say is the backbone of all ceremonialism, controlling all other rites and chants. Used to attract good, avert misfortune and invoke positive blessings, Blessing Way rites fulfill a multitude of needs, protecting livestock, aiding childbirth, blessing a new hogan, consecrating a marriage, protecting soldiers, as well as celebrating a girl's adolescence.* From the book, "Navajo Drypaintings"
Star Liana York - Blessing Way Bust
Star Liana York - Blessing Way Bust
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