Meaning of the Yei Symbol
Native American Indians were a deeply spiritual
people and they communicated their history,
thoughts, ideas and dreams from generation to generation
and Signs such as the Yei symbol (Yeii) .
Native American symbols
geometric portrayals of celestial bodies,
animal designs and totems. The meaning of the Yei symbol
represents the Navajo Yei Spirit who mediates
between humans and the
Great Spirit. The term
Yei derives from the word Yeibicheii meaning the
Holy People. Navajo Yei
spirits, or deities, are believed to control elements such as the rain,
snow, wind and sun and control the night and day.
Most of the Navajo deities can be either
beneficial or harmful to the Earth Surface
People, depending on their mood or impulse or on
how they are approached. The Yei is also
believed to be associated with the rainbow
goddess. Depictions of Yei were commonly created
picture below are Yei
Petroglyphs - drawings that have been carved
in stone. Yei Spirits are usually shown carrying
pine boughs, yucca strips and rattles and these
items feature in Navajo
Spiritual Healing ceremonies.
Yei Symbol Sand Painting
following picture of a Navajo Sand Painting also
provides and authentic illustration of the Yei
and rainbow goddess.
Navajo Yei Sand Painting
Symbol - Masked Dancers
Navajo believed that Yei spirits could be
summoned by masked dancers. The ancient
Mound Builders, the Mississippians, used dances,
gestures and sounds as symbolic powers and wore
ceremonial clothes and carried sacred objects
and weapons to symbolize their power. Masks were
believed to hold spiritual powers that never
left them and that the masks would identify them
with the Yei spirits and activate their power.
During Navajo masque rituals male deities were
represented with with rounded faces and female
deities with rectangular faces. The masked
dancers are known as the Yei-Bi-Chi.
Symbol - The Rainbow Kokopelli
A special kind of Yei deity is the Yei'bi'chai.
The Yei'bi'chai deity is revered as a "talking God" who can
speak to human directly, telling them how to
live in harmony with all living things.
This Yei deity also provides some simple rules of behaviour to
conserve and only to use the things that were needed to
survive. Because of this advisory role
this Yei spirit is known as the
grandparent spirit. The "Rainbow
is a Yei deity who commands the
rainbow, giving beauty to all those in harmony.
It is thought that his sack was made of clouds
full of rainbows or seeds. The "Rainbow Kokopelli"
represents the Yei symbol of harmony.
Native Indian symbols, like the Yei or Yeii
are still used as
and were used for a variety of
reasons and depicted on numerous objects such as tepees, totem poles, musical instruments, clothes
War Paint. Indian
Tribes also used their own
for Symbols and designs depending on the
natural resources available to make
Native American paint.