Water is Life Navajo Rug by Gerard Begay

Water River Life Giver rug by Gerard Begay for symposium (2016)

The Fringed Mouth Yei is a deity in the Nightway chant which is a traditional Navajo winter healing ceremony. The Fringed Mouth Yei received its name from the mask which has fringes around the eyes and mouth. It is believed that there are two types of Fringed Mouth Yei, one represents the earth and plant life and the other one represents water. Recently, a representative from the “Water River Life Giver” conference asked me to create a rug for the event. I immediately thought about a story my uncle told me when I was younger. This story has inspired me to create a piece for this conference.

By: Gerard Begay

Gerard Begay is a young male weaver, born to the Big Water clan and originally from Holbook, Arizona.  Although he works full-time for the Maricopa Community College district, he spends much of his free time weaving and has shown his work at the Heard Museum in addition to the Santa Fe Indian Market.

About the author: Brian King

Brian D. King lives in Wilder, Vermont and is a writer and blogger who teaches Social Studies. He earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University.

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