Natural Dye Retreat Samples and Weaving Class Begins

Our Natural Dye Retreat participants left Window Rock today and we put together a look at the samples that we dyed yesterday. The retreat is a time to reflect on knowledge that is slipping away today and to appreciate the bounty of the Navajo homeland.

2008 Natural Dye Retreat plants: cochineal, cliffrose, bee plant, sage, coreopsis, black walnut hulls, ground lichen, wild carrot, sage, indigo and Navajo tea

2008 Natural Dye Retreat plants: cochineal, cliffrose, bee plant, sage, coreopsis, black walnut hulls, ground lichen, wild carrot, sage, indigo and Navajo tea

Today was also the beginning of the first August session of our week long class and tour. Since we still had some dye materials left, we used those up, but did collect new batches of rabbitbrush, sage, ground lichen and cliffrose to replenish the pots. We also did some indigo overdyes. The picture below shows the group around the pots as we were beginning to add yarn.

From left, Diane Wood, Jennifer Thistel, Vickie Norrid, Marsha Herr, Arlene Anderson, Laurie Rosen, Tammy Denhard, Rose Dedman and Bob Rosen gather around the dyepots at the start of our weaving class and tour.

From left, Diane Wood, Jennifer Thistel, Vickie Norrid, Marsha Herr, Arlene Anderson, Laurie Rosen, Tammy Denhard, Rose Dedman and Bob Rosen gather around the dyepots at the start of our weaving class and tour.

After lunch with dye master Rose Dedman, we gathered up the wool and came back to Window Rock to visit with Morris Muskett and get cleaned up. We finished the day with a trip to Gallup for dinner at the El Rancho Hotel (rated as very good by the group) and a visit to the nightly Native American dances that are held on the McKinley County Courthuse plaza. The Nááts’íílid (Rainbow) Dancers from Shiprock performed several dances that involved weaving and we felt very lucky to be there. The picture below shows the group doing a sash belt dance.

Rainbow Dance group at the McKinley County, NM Courthouse performing a sash belt dance.

Rainbow Dance group at the McKinley County, NM Courthouse performing a sash belt dance.

Tomorrow we’ll be warping looms and visting R.B. Burnham Trading in Sanders, AZ.

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