Today was the first day of the advanced weaving seminar that I’m coordinating for my best friend, master weaver Jennie Slick.  We’re using a meeting room at the Quality Inn in Window Rock and everyone is off to a great start with the their projects.  The idea behind the class is provide participants with concentrated time for weaving and research (not to mention retail therapy with area artists and traders).  It’s also a chance to study the techniques of other weavers because so many weaving resources are concentrated in the Window Rock area.  Some of us took advantage of that opportunity this afternoon and we started with a visit to the Inter-tribal Ceremonial in Gallup.  Of course, we were interested in seeing the rugs and the display was truly astounding.  Pictures aren’t allowed in the Exhibit Hall, so all I can say is that we were awed by the magnificent weavings.  Many of the prizewinning pieces were not only masterpieces of design and weaving skill, but they were woven with custom dyed yarns. The judges had a difficult task that I certainly wouldn’t want to do.

Leaving the Exhibit Hall, we visited the pow-wow arena and enjoyed seeing some of the men’s Fancy Dance and Grass Dance events.  We’re fiber people, so the colors and designs of the costumes and the strength and grace of the dancers are a real attraction for us; it’s easy to see why these events are some the most popular at pow-wows.    Here’s one of my better pictures from the arena.

A dancer at this year's Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial

A dancer at this year's Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial

After we left the Ceremonial, we went to visit Perry Null’s Tobe Turpen Trading Post in Gallup and saw more inspiring weavings, including this wonderful pictorial by Cheryl Yazzie.  This rug depicts the Ye’i Bi Chei Nightway Ceremony in fine yarns and wonderful detail.

Ye'i Bi Chei Nighway pictorial by Cheryl Yazzie of Chinle, Az.  Photographed at Perry Null's Tobe Turpen Trading Post.

Ye'i Bi Chei Nighway pictorial by Cheryl Yazzie of Chinle, Az. Photographed at Perry Null's Tobe Turpen Trading Post.

Another wonderful rug at Perry Null’s was this small Burntwater by Lillian Joe.

Burntwater in fine yarns by Lillian Joe.  Photographed at Perry Null's Tobe Turpen Trading Post.

Burntwater in fine yarns by Lillian Joe. Photographed at Perry Null's Tobe Turpen Trading Post.

We stopped next to visit with trader Bill Malone at Shush Yaz and got too involved with discussing rugs with Bill to take any pictures before closing time, but we’ll try to make up for it next week when we stop by again.  Bill tempted us with a 30% discount on some Native American themed clothing, so we should be a good looking group in upcoming pictures.

We had some dinner at Earl’s Restaurant, a Gallup favorite with good food and strolling Native American vendors and then attended the nightly Native American dance event, which is held at 7 PM every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day on Gallup Civic Plaza.   The Talking Eagle drum and dance group was performing tonight and we got another chance to see Fancy Dance and Grass Dance performers.  One of the younger performers couldn’t resist getting into the circle and that seemed to be just fine with the older dancers.  Here’s a picture of the youngster during the performance.

A young dancer learns his moves at the nighly Gallup Native American dance series.

A young dancer learns his moves at the nightly Gallup Native American dance series.

I’ll post more on the weaving seminar tomorrow!

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