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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : the arts May 22, 2015

9/25/2012 10:59:00 AM
Annual Navajo Weavers Marketplace returns to Heard Museum Dec. 1
More than 50 Navajo weavers will be selling textiles
Navajo weavers will be selling textiles such as these in Phoenix.
Navajo weavers will be selling textiles such as these in Phoenix.
Navajo-Hopi Observer

PHOENIX, Ariz. - More than 50 talented Navajo weavers will once again fill the central courtyard to sell their textiles at the Fifth Annual Navajo Weavers Marketplace at the Heard Museum Phoenix 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Dec. 1.

This event has plenty to enjoy in several areas, including lectures, raffles and demonstrations of weaving. Enjoy a day at the Heard Museum to learn and see the process of creating beautiful textiles at the Navajo Weavers Marketplace, where you will find a variety of Navajo textiles for sale, with designs ranging from contemporary to traditional.

For young Navajo children, Navajo tradition is an important asset to inherit. This culture is enriched with unique traditional teachings, including traditional talents taught with proper techniques. Weaving is considered by Navajos to be a gift from the holy gods and is also one of many teachings passed on for many generations. It is believed Spider Boy introduced the loom and Spider Woman introduced the weaving according to traditional stories of Navajo elders.

The designs on the textiles are very intricate and characterize specific meanings. Weavers tend to capture their memories of their childhood, lifestyle and ceremonies in their design. The patterns and designs also relate to different regions on the Navajo Nation reservation and are categorized by names of locations on the reservation such as Two Grey Hills, Teec Nos Pos, Wide Ruins and Red Mesa. Many Navajos own sheep for income purposes while most Navajo weavers own sheep for their wool to transform into yarn. The yarn is then dyed with natural vegetal dyes. When the wool is processed to yarn the texture and colors are different compared to commercial yarn.

In the Heard's Steele Auditorium, curator and author Anne Lane Hedlund will speak about contemporary weaving at 11 a.m. with a book signing after her speech, followed at 12:15 p.m. by Mark Winter of Toadlena Trading Post. He will speak about Two Grey Hills style of weaving and the development of his book, "Master Weavers."

Ann Marshall, vice president of the curation and education department at the Heard Museum, will speak on pictorial textiles and provide information about an exhibit opening at the Heard on February 14, "Picture This: Pictorial Textiles."

Hear the history of Navajo talent from Navajo weavers at the Navajo Weavers Marketplace. Don't miss this opportunity to experience live demonstrations of Navajo weaving. Gather with your family and find authentic and durable holiday gifts that will last a lifetime.

Since 1929, the Heard Museum, a private non-profit organization, has enchanted visitors from around the world with the art, culture and history of American Indians, with an emphasis on tribes of the Southwest. With more than 40,000 fine artworks and cultural artifacts in its permanent collection, 12 long-term and changing exhibit galleries, an education center, an award-winning Shop, the Books and More boutique bookstore, Coffee Cantina and Courtyard Café, the Heard Museum is a place of learning, discovery and unforgettable experiences. In addition to its flagship Phoenix location, the Heard Museum also operates a community museum in North Scottsdale.

Exhibit, event and program funding are provided in part by the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Arizona Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture.

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