Navajo Folk Art: Elsie Benally Mud Toy Halloween Witch
- Source: eBay
Fantastic mud toy of a green witch riding a white horse by Navajo folk artist Elsie Benally. The toy is 6" tall and 5" long, not including the horse's tail. The witch holds an ear of corn in her arms. This unusual piece is truly a rare subject for mud toys, a special request, and won't likely be found in galleries or museum stores.Elsie is one of two Navajo artists who independently revived the art of making "mud toys" in the 1980s. These toys are shaped by hand from native clay and then dried in the sun. Elsie then paints each piece and adds other features such as hair, for which she uses sheep wool of various natural colors. Elsie appears in the essential book on Navajo folk art, "Navajo Folk Art, the People Speak", by Chuck and Jan Rosenak. She is also included in numerous museum collections, including the Smithsonian. I am an avid Navajo folk art collector and purchased this piece directly from Elsie at her home near Sweetwater, Arizona. Mud toys are fragile pieces of art: packaging will be done with great care.