Keeping My Resolutions: Attend The Crownpoint Rug Auction


Rena Robertson holds the latest in her Faces series of weavings. Here's she's done a Faces variation of the Storm Pattern


Another Rena Robertson Faces rug.

Tempe, AZ One of my New Year’s resolutions is to attend the Crownpoint Rug Auction every month if at all possible.  So far, I’ve been able to make the trip and I’ve been rewarded by the opportunity to get to know some weavers better and to make new friends.  When I went to the auction in January, I was really impressed by a rug woven by Rena Robertson of Hardrock, AZ.  It was somewhat similar to the rug at right, another of Rena’s pieces that I purchased last month. The style is reminiscent of a now-rare pattern called a Hopi Figural rug, but Rena has updated the designs and colors and has integrated many elements significant in both the Navajo and Pueblo cultures.  The most striking elements are the serene stylized faces that drew me immediately to the weaving.  Although they are somewhat similar to both Ye’i and Katsina faces, Rena sees them as the faces of nature, animals, people and homes that are all around us, so the style might be called Faces of the World, or Faces of the Glittering World in honor of the Navajo view of this incarnation of the world that we live in.   I’m pleased to offer both of them in the Weavings for Sale section of the Mercantile.  The single Faces piece is sold but you can click here for another picture and more information.  The Storm Pattern Faces piece is priced at $595.  Click here for more details and the purchase link.

Rena’s friend, Lena Tahe had been bringing Rena’s work to Crownpoint, which is about 200 miles one way, but persuaded Rena to come this month and her husband, Martin Whitehair, who is also a weaver, accompanied her.   Martin is the brother of weaver William Whitehair Morris Muskett and I enjoyed discussing designs, weaving and silversmithing with Rena and Martin after the auction.

We also ran into Gilbert Begay, who had two of his popular bags with him, had being the key word here.  One is an over the shoulder 7″ square bag and the other is a clutch style that is 9 1/2″ x 6″ and is vegetally dyed.   Both have been sold, but please contact me if you’d like to order another one from Gilbert.


Two Grey Hills (left) and vegetally dyed (right) bags by Gilbert Begay

I’m working on finishing up the book that I’ve been working on with Liz Munk and Jennie Slick, so I haven’t been posting as much as usual.  I think the book’s at a point where I can safely steal a little time to catch you up on some of the things that have been going on in my part of the Navajo weaving world.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting an update on our teaching high touch with high tech experiment and putting up the schedule for further online classes.

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Mary Walker on April 15, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    It really isn’t that hard to get me to travel to a room full of weavers and rugs, but thanks very much for the kind words!

  2. Sharon on April 15, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    That’s great! I was born in Crownpoint, so I am really happy to see that you’ve made that commitment. Good luck w/ traveling and thank you so much for featuring native weavers. We really do value this art as a culture and I value anyone who values it as well.

    Good luck with your book,