Who Are the Best-Known Weavers of Navajo Rugs?
The Navajo people have been weaving for centuries. Weaving was a way of life for them, and many of today’s most beautiful rugs were created by women. There are several well-known weavers, but four women, in particular, stand out. These women are Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas. The story behind their work is as fascinating as the art of weaving itself.
Irene is perhaps the most well-known weaver of Navajo Rug, and she has worked hard to earn her reputation as an artist. She started by learning the traditional ways of weaving, gathering the materials for her rugs and the plants to use as dyes. She also learned the songs associated with each step of the weaving process. Irene weaves a Navajo rug one step at a time, taking care to finish it and learn from the process. No rug leaves the loom unfinished.
Irene began weaving at age thirteen. She learned the art from her mother, who was also a master weaver. She was influenced by her mother’s weaving style and has won numerous awards from the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial. Her mother and grandmother also taught her to weave. She also learned to dye the wool. The mother and grandmother were the best teachers she ever had.
Velma Kee Craig
The first time I met Velma Kee Craig, I was amazed at her work and her passion for art. She was raised in a nomadic lifestyle and did not learn her grandmother’s weaving styles. Today, she draws inspiration from modern technology and is working on a rug design based on the Finding Nemo movie. After reading about her work on the Warped Canvas blog, I was even more impressed.
As a child, Mary Ann Ross was taught basic weaving techniques by her older sister, Marie. She was especially interested in dyed wool and wanted to learn how to use these colors in her weavings. But she was told that she could only use natural black, white, blended tans, and a special reddish brown. She refused to follow the rules and eventually ended up weaving in white.
The most famous weaver of Navajo Rugs, Melissa Cody, has worked in the United States for more than twenty years. Her work has been shown in museums and is represented on banners for downtown Flagstaff events. She has also had her work featured on a museum sign. She views her public demonstrations as a way to spread the word about the value of her art.
Melissa Cody is a fourth-generation Navajo weaver whose work explores the history of weaving and its relationship to communities. She has worked behind the scenes at the de Young Museum where she studied the Navajo weavings in the Textile Arts collection. She is renowned for incorporating modern elements into her work, such as motifs and geometric forms.
Juan Lorenzo Hubbell
The Navajo people originated from a place called Emergence, and the angular designs that are woven into the center of these rugs represent the four worlds that the ancestors believed existed. The rugs are often made with geometric shapes and patterns, like a diamond or a box, and these shapes and patterns are interpreted by the Navajo as a representation of these worlds.
The Navajo people began trading their handcrafted crafts with white traders during the early nineteenth century. While the Navajos traded for essential goods, they continued to trade for more modern materials. Hubbell, a Spanish interpreter for the U.S. Army, became one of the most prominent traders in the region. During his years as a Spanish interpreter, Hubbell learned the Navajo language and culture.