Spider Rock Girls Boarding School Students Weave Where It All Began

Weavers at Spider Rock

Spider Rock Girls Boarding School students work at their looms at Spider Rock

Chinle, AZ  We have just returned from a wonderful and unforgettable  day of weaving at Spider Rock.  Emily Malone and her daughter Larissa Blake graciously opened their home at the base of Spider Rock to our students and even taught us how to make frybread and Navajo tortillas.  It turns out that making a good looking piece of frybread is not as easy as one might think, but perhaps we were distracted by the view.  Emily and her family use their property in Canyon de Chelly during the summer and live on the canyon rim in the winter and are the teachers of the this class.  

According to Navajo history, Spider Rock is the home of Spider Woman, who taught the Navajo people to weave on a magical loom constructed by Spider Man.  We are very grateful that Emily and Larissa believe that the gift of Spider Woman may be shared among all five fingered beings and we will always treasure our journey to the place where Navajo weaving began. 

Hagoshíí (so long for now)

Mary Walker

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Marianne Samper on October 20, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I felt so privileged to be part of this class. Mary, Emily and Larissa are all such patient teachers. The hospitality shown by Emily and her family was wonderful and I hope I’ll see them all again. The canyon visits were pure beauty and the opportunity to weave there is a memory I’ll always treasure. Awesome!!! Hope to return next year!

  2. Mary Walker on October 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Sandy, thank you so much being part of our charter Spider Rock class! It will take me awhile to come up with the words to describe it, but the experience is one that will stay with me forever. I’m so grateful to Emily and her family.

  3. Sandy Gally on October 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    This was a fantastic class with fantastic teachers. Weaving at the base of Spider Rock was an AWESOME experience .But to be honest, the word ‘awesome’ really is not adequate. Maybe some of my fellow students can come up with a more adequate description.

  4. KATHY on October 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Wonderful picture, please post more!
    Wish I was there.

  5. Kathy Bernett on October 6, 2011 at 7:30 am

    What a place! How could you not weave beautiful things in such a wonderful place. Lucky people who got to take this class! Is this class at Spider Rock going to be a regular thing?

  6. Kathy Strathearn on October 6, 2011 at 6:27 am