Spring Weaving in Beauty Class: Trading Posts of Gallup


Karen Mittleider (left), Linda Fasel and Barbara Nicodemus working on their projects in Window Rock

Window Rock, Arizona We continued weaving today, and tonight several students were approaching the halfway point in their work.  The picture above shows three of the students earlier in the day.  We made a switch in our itinerary due to the winds in the area today.  We’ll be doing natural dyes with Rose Dedman in Ft. Defiance tomorrow morning.  Unlike the last two years, temperatures are running above normal and the afternoon conditions are too windy for safe dyeing over an open fire.

This afternoon, several of the students went into Gallup with me for a tour of trading posts.  We started with lunch at Earl’s Restaurant.  The food was very good and we had the chance to purchase jewelry from Native American vendors as we were eating.  After lunch, our first stop was Richardson’s Trading which is home to the largest rug room in the world.  It’s a good place to talk about design and also to see historic rugs.  The early Ye’i Bi Chei below was one of several historic pieces that we  examined.


A 1930's Ye'i Bi Chei weaving, probably from the Lukachukai area

Going on from Richardson’s, we visited City Electric Shoes to check out the moccasins and western wear.  Leaving the downtown area,  we visited with Bill Malone at Shush Yaz Trading.  Bill told his history in the trading business and shared several unique rugs with us, including the special piece below by weaver Jenny Thomas.  Jenny has combined Wide Ruins and Teec Nos Pos elements for a striking composition.


Bill Malone shows Jenny Thomas' unique Wide Ruins/Teec Nos Pos composite rug

Our final trading post stop was at Perry Null’s Tobe Turpen Trading Post where we discussed the origns of the Gallup throw and examined the Wide Ruins weavings of the Clyde and Francis families.  Perry Null’s has recently acquired several fine weavings, and I’ve included a picture of a strikingly beautiful Burntwater by master weaver Lillian Joe.


Liliian Joe's Burntwater rug shines with vegetally dyed yarns at Perry Null's. Note that Liilian's rug is the green weaving. The picture was taken with it over another rug.

It’s close to midnight here and I need to be up early to get ready for some of our own vegetal dyeing, so I’ll write more tomorrow.

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker



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