Phoenix, AZ The Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market closed about fifteen minutes ago. The theme chosen this year is “Weaving Worlds with Wool” and coincides with the museums’s current “Picture This!” exhibit of Pictorial weaving. Master Pictorial weaver Florence Riggs of Tuba City is this year’s signature artist and she and her sisters Jane Hyden and Laverne Greyeyes demonstrated their amazing weaving skills all weekend. Florence is a member of the famous Nez family of pictorial weavers, many of whom reside in the Tuba City area of the Navajo Nation. Florence and her sisters are the daughters of renowned weaver Laura John Nez and the the daughters of Louise Nez.
Florence and her sisters weave a style of Pictorial that features expressive faces and realistic action. It incorporates a sense of the wry humor that pervades Navajo life. The man of the house is often pictured taking it easy while his wife is working at the loom. Although life in the traditional home is a frequent theme, Florence has branched out to depictions of prehistoric life, including dinosaurs and has even woven the circus! You can see a picture of one of her forays into the circus below. A festive tent provides the backdrop as the ringmaster introduces a juggling seal and clown, performing elephants and a horse leaping through a ring of fire. One of the clowns is pouring water down the pants of one of the others. Try weaving any one of these things let alone all of them!
Florence was so busy all weekend that I didn’t get a chance to talk with her, but it looked like she was having a very good time and she was talking with two young ladies about weaving when I snapped the picture below.
I’ll leave you today with a picture of Florence’s sister, Jane Hyden, working on the finish to a weaving depicting the action at a rodeo on the Navajo Nation. More on the market later this week.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)