2012 Heard Museum Indian Market: The Spider Rock Girls

The Spider Rock Girls

The Spider Rock Girls: from left, Larissa Blake, Alyssa Malone, Emily Malone and Laramie Blake. Missing is LaVera Blake who had to return to school in Utah.

Phoenix, AZ   The 52nd Annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Market concluded about 90 minutes ago.  The Market enjoyed the kind of weather that caused Major League Baseball to locate some of their spring training here and people were really taking advantage of the fabulous sunshine and 80+ degree temperatures.   La Niña winters are dry and warm and this particular year has been a classic.  We’re all rooting for the rains to show up, but it’s not a bad place to be while you’re waiting.   I have been working with the pictures that I took and trying to figure out how to frame the articles.   I don’t have any favorite weavings from the show; I have a pile of them.  I think that the best way to do this is just to see the pictures in the order that I saw and visited with the weavers until we’re done.  At the end of the week, I’ll put up a link to the entire gallery of pictures and you can go through the whole show as many times as you want to.  

I saw the Spider Rock Girls first because I had some things that they needed for their booth.  The “girls” are members of the extended Yazzie/Blake/Malone/Whitney family whose ancestral home is near Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly.  Emily Malone and her daughter Larissa are the instructors at the Spider Rock Girls Boarding School weaving class and one of Emily’s other daughters, Laramie is kind of my foster daughter while she attends college here in Phoenix.  Emily’s oldest daughter, LaVera, was at the show yesterday but had to leave to go back to college in Utah, where she’s finishing up a nursing degree.  Getting that many family members to a show and making it work financially is no small feat and Emily and family had woven several small pieces to help round out their inventory.  You’ll see that strategy used by several weavers as we go through the Market.   Like many weavers who are successful at this level, the family also has a pattern that is identified with them and gives their work a recognizable style.   The Spider Rock rug is their trademark pattern, but they also had both large and small Burntwater design rugs.  A Burntwater is a bordered single or double diamond pattern that is woven using wool that has been vegetally dyed.  

Emily said that they had sold several pieces and rumor has it that even nine year old Alyssa had sold a small rug to an appreciative Market attendee.  OK, the buyer was one of my friends and I saw it on Facebook.   I believe that this is third rug that Alyssa has woven.   

Spider Rock designs

Spider Rock patterned rugs woven by Emily Malone

Burntwater weavings

Detail of Burntwater pattern weaving next to Spider Rock rugs

I’m having breakfast with the girls tomorrow before Emily, Larissa and Alyssa head back home, so I’ll have information on any rugs that they have left over.  They will also be participating in the Smoki Museum Auction in Prescott, Arizona on March 17th.  The girls don’t sit around!  

Tomorrow, we’ll visit with Lola Cody, who will show you some weaving technique on the small loom that she had set up.  We might get a chance to say hello to Michael Ornelas too who has some interesting design inspirations to share.  

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker


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