Heard Museum Explores Navajo Sacred Mountains

Phoenix artist Steven Yazzie showcases the relationship between Navajo people and the four sacred mountains

Phoenix multidisciplinary artist Steven Yazzie of Navajo, Laguna and European descent, returns to the Heard Museum. Yazzie’s new show, Black White Blue Yellow, is an immersive four-channel video and sound installation, highlighting the connection between the Diné (Navajo people) and the four sacred mountains that border their territory.

Each sacred mountain is associated with a symbolic color: Hesperus Mountain or Dibé Nitsaa, Colo., sacred mountain of the North commonly called “big sheep” is associated with the color black; Blanca Peak or Sisnaajiní, Colo., sacred mountain of the East commonly called “the dawn” or “white shell mountain” is associated with the color white; Mount Taylor or Tsoodził, N.M.,  sacred mountain of the South commonly called “turquoise mountain” or “blue bead” is associated with the color blue;
 San Francisco Peak or Dook’o’oosłííd, Ariz., sacred mountain of the West commonly called “the summit which never melts” or “abalone shell mountain” is associated with the color yellow.

Black White Blue Yellow is a journey to sacred land and space, the source of cultural continuities: indigenous knowledge, mystery, discovery, fear, connection and exploitation by contemporary societies. The show is a culmination of video and sound documentation that brings the viewer into the complexities of these geographies in a temporal conceptual experience, designed to touch on the mountain’s symbolic nature residing deep within our human memory.


Jacobson Gallery, Heard Museum


The Heard Museum is teaming up with Rooted Community Yoga Project offering the opportunity for visitors to practice yoga “in” the exhibit. The in-gallery yoga experience will be held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month through Oct. 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the Jacobson Gallery.


Black White Blue Yellow

Exhibition: Through Oct. 15
Yoga Sessions: Aug. 12 and 26, Sept. 9 and 23, Oct. 14; 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Heard Museum, 2301 N. Central Ave., Phoenix

For more information, visit heard.org.


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