Like a lot of people in Diné Bikeyah (the Navajo homeland), I have a job back in a city. I do my rug repairs and appraisals in the Phoenix area. I’m not Navajo, but I feel the pull of both cultures as I get ready to leave Window Rock and return to Phoenix. I have quite a few Navajo friends who consider me what people around here call an “in-law”, someone who is familiar with Navajo culture and who participates in many community and family events.
Here in Window Rock, I’m helping to organize the Navajo Fiber Arts Center and working on future classes. One of my closest friends is having a ceremony this coming week and I’m trying to figure out if I can get back here to participate, but I feel the pull of the rugs that are waiting patiently for me to fix them so I’ll have to sort out the conflicts. People around here do it all the time as we do our best to live in two cultures. When you think about it, the textiles do that too. They have their roots here in the Navajo homeland, but they bring harmony and pleasure to the people who acquire them and take them far away.