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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

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10/22/2013 4:31:00 PM
Rug auction showcases more than 200 rugs from area weavers
Volunteers attempt to hold up Bessie Yazzie’s 12-foot-9–inch by 9-foot-9-inch rug in preparation for the auction.
Volunteers attempt to hold up Bessie Yazzie’s 12-foot-9–inch by 9-foot-9-inch rug in preparation for the auction.
Katherine Locke
Navajo-Hopi Observer

Over 100 people and weavers were on hand for the 10th Native Rug Auction on Oct. 19 at Coconino Center for the Arts in partnership with the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) and Flagstaff Cultural Partners where more than 200 rugs were auctioned.

Bessie Yazzie from Blue Gap, Ariz. wove one of the rug auction's showstoppers. The 12-foot-9-inch by 9-foot-9-inch rug took her over a year to weave. It was a Large Storm Pattern rug.

The rug was originally on its way to Wyoming before the government shutdown changed its course. Yazzie decided at the last minute to have the rug auctioned in Flagstaff. It was her first time at a MNA auction. The auctions take place in both October and June to provide the public with an opportunity to learn more about Navajo culture and weavings.

Yazzie originally had a smaller price tag on the rug until volunteers at the auction told her she could get more.

"The lady she told us, 'this is a huge rug and you guys are asking a little price,'" Yazzie said through a translator.

The original price was $2,000. Even the modified price of $3,000 ended up being lower than what the rug sold for at $3,750.

The rugs in the auction came from original weavers and also from private collections.

Rug styles at the auction included Two Grey Hills, Ganado, Teec Nos Pos, Ye'ii, Pictorial, Wide Ruins, Storm, Sandpainting, Eyedazzler and more.

R.B. Burnham & Co. Trading Post auctioneered the event. The family has worked in the field of Native American art for five generations.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: Erma Nells

Whoever bought the rug actually stold the rug. I believe it's worth far more than 3,700.00, an estimate of 300 a month or 77.00 a week or 11 dollars a day. It is very sad to continue to take advantage of our Dineh Grandmothers. 10,000 or more would have been a better quote our Dineh Shima.



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