Nanezbah (Nora) Yazzie is a full blooded Native American Indian. She
was born in 1954 into the Navajo Nation. Nora is a Dine from the Four
Corners region of the Navajo Reservation.
She was raised in Farmington, New Mexico and attended a Navajo Methodist
Mission High School where she was first introduced to the arts through
clay, drama, and creative writing. Encouraged by her teachers to explore
each medium, she entered her first local high school art show and placed
first in the clay division. Thus, began her journey into the art world.
Nora’s grandparents were influential figures in her work. As a
child she was fortunate to have observed and participated in blessing
ceremonies performed by her grandfather who was a sandpainter. Her grandmother,
a renown rug weaver and midwife, personified earth mother as she helped
bring new life into the world. These important observations served as
seeds planted for cultivation of her creative imagination.
Traditional art was always a part of her environment. Because there
is no word for “art” in the Navajo language, she never questioned
the validity of the creative process in a western European sense. Creating
is a way of life for her and her family. Colors come from the earth
so land is a natural and essential part of the process. In her case,
her mother and grandmother taught her to observe land formations where
rug designs come from. Land formations combined with their natural colors
are her sole derivatives and foundation when designing a piece. Eventually
she hopes to develop and create monumental sculpture and bronze. Constant
growth and stretching ideas into three-dimensional form is an exciting
path for her right now.
-1999 New Mexico State Fair 2nd Place
-1989 Totah Festival 2nd Place
-1988 Totah Festival 1st Place
-Others too numerous to mention
-Indian Artist Magazine December 1998 edition