Charlie Willeto (American, 1897–1964)
Wood and paint
20 x 8 1/2 x 5 inches
Purchase with funds from the Mattie Lou O'Kelley Endowment
This brightly colored figure was carved by Charlie Willeto, a Navajo medicine man who created innovative wooden figures during the last four years of his life. 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 on his own before beginning a collaboration with his wife. Its light-colored face, horns, markings, and stance suggest a relationship to the spirit world.
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