So just like everyone else, I wonder where 2013 went, but I can look through my picture library and get a pretty good idea. If you take 5000 pictures a year at work, you can tell what you’ve been up to. I guess that’s what the people at Facebook are banking on. Now, I’ve been pretty good at taking pictures, but not good at sharing those pictures and the stories behind them with you, so let’s change that. Let me tell you about the class that we did in Window Rock last June.
It’s Time to Weave!
Our classes usually start on Sunday morning and we start by introducing ourselves and warping our looms. Our Weaving in Beauty June 2013 class had more experienced weavers than usual; about two thirds of the class had some experience with Navajo techniques. That meant that the people who hadn’t ever tried weaving before had about nine teachers, but they were darn good sports about it. Since we had so many experienced weavers, we took a couple of extra students and it was a large and interesting group.
Some Weaving in Beauty June 2013 Highlights
Monday, we stopped by R.B. Burnham and Co. Trading in Sanders and bought some extra yarn so that we wouldn’t run out (there was really no danger of that). Then, we made the run into Gallup and we took advantage of the nightly Native American dances. We were treated to a fantastic show by Ramona and Norman Roach of Cortez, Colorado. They changed their outfits for each dance and Norman explained the development and cultural significance of each selection. If you are in Gallup between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there is a Native American group on the courthouse plaza every night at 7 PM. The event is free and you can leave a donation to help the dancers pay their expenses. You can take pictures and buy frybread. It’s definitely a win-win situation.
One of our students, Ellen Graf, is a big fan of the weaving of master weaver Geneva Shabi’s stunning Wide Ruins weaving. Ellen has a lot of company, with Jennie and I included (you can see why in the gallery below). Ellen wanted to meet Geneva during the class if it was a all possible and Geneva accommodated us by stopping by twice. Geneva consistently wins prizes at the Santa Fe Indian Market, Navajo Nation Fair and Heard Museum Indian Market and we were thrilled when she offered us her weaving tips and shared her extensive scrapbook of past work with us. We’re talking about doing a master level class with Geneva and her sister Brenda Spencer, but it will probably be 2015 event since we’re still in the talking stage.
We also met up with the Spider Rock Girls, Emily Malone and her family, over in Chinle when we toured Canyon de Chelly. I am always amazed at how prolific the girls are with their weaving. They had just finished several large rugs for an auction, but they still had work to show the students (and some of it went home with us too). Tour guide Bobby Vanwinkle did his always excellent job of escorting us through the Canyon, which was his boyhood home.
Best Class Ever!
By the end of the week, Patricia Hayes, one of the students who hadn’t woven before had finished her sampler despite all of my best attempts to slow her down with field trips. You can take a look at the pictures to see our adventures. It was the best class ever, just like all the others. Happy Old Year. Happy New Year.
Hagoshíí (so long for now)