Tempe, AZ Five months ago, Jennie Slick and I started our classes in Window Rock for this year. Sitting here in Tempe now, in some ways it seems like five years ago, and in other ways it was more like five minutes. We had a wonderful class in May. One of the special treats was being able to visit with instructor Jennie Slick’s mother, Anna Ashley. At 93, Anna no longer weaves and she is confined to a wheelchair much of the time, but she still spins a lot of the edging cords that we use in class and she is very pleased to think of all of the students who have taken the time to make the journey to her home to learn more about the Navajo way of weaving. The shawl that Anna is weaving in the picture is a gift from student Mike Barnette and was woven by his wife, Peggy. Presenting the shawl to Anna was one of the highlights of our class, but there were many crowded into that week.
We had two great visits with Barbara Jean Teller Ornelas (who is doing a class in Tucson November 13-15 with her sister, Lynda Teller Pete), meeting up with her at the Two Grey Hills Trading Post and at Toadlena Trading Post. At Toadlena, we also talked with caricaturist and weaver Pamela Brown, who had done a wonderful rug to commemorate the engagement of trader Mark Winter and Linda Larouche. We gathered the first plants of the year and used some that we’d saved over the winter to dye some wonderful colors that will join with others to make up the weaving that we are doing now and those to come. We saw foals with their mothers running in Canyon de Chelly and we listened as Bruce Burnham and Bill Malone told us stories about trading, justice and standing by your friends when they are in trouble.
You can see more pictures from the class here. It was the best class ever, just like all of the others. Yes, it’s more like five minutes ago.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)
Note: Registration for our 2012 Window Rock class schedule is open. You can read more about the class and register for it here. Registration for the 2012 Spider Rock Girls Boarding School class will open on November 1.