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Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land: From Lukachukai, Red Lake/Tonalea, Hardrock, Coal Mine Mesa

Bernice Chee and Family, Lukachukai

MBM-509. Bernice Chee. Vibrant and beautifully woven "stacked diamonds" "dazzler" style vegatation/water design runner, in red, white, black, and light grey on a medium grey field. Hang on your wall, or cover a table, bureau, or sideboard, 37.5 x 18.5 in., $400 ($350 to weaver; $50 to general fund).Returned to weaver at her request, May 2009.

MBM-510. Bernice. Chee. Exquisitely woven and detailed pictorial (photo doesn't begin to do it justice), 31.25 in. x 20.25 in., of seven ladies in ceremonial dress, each holding a different weaving; the eighth figure is a man, also in ceremonial dress, holding a feather. The background is woven of "Wild and Woolly" yarn in a flecked tan. The border is a reverse design of mesas and clouds, in black and deep red, which is the traditional border of the women's ceremonial dress (biil). A joyful celebration of the Dine' weaving tradition! $500 ($450 to weaver; $50 to general fund). Returned to weaver at her request, May 2009.


MBM-454. Consigned by Bernice Chee, woven by her cousin's sister, a spectacular weaving of five Ye'ii (Holy People) with prayer feathers, in a celebration of color and weaving skill: tightly and evenly woven with reverse twill borders, and very imaginatively designed cloud/mesa formations above and below the Ye'ii, 21.75 in. x 30.5 in.. In "Ganado red," white, blue/grey, blue, turquoise, purple, gold, light grey, dark brown, light tan, yellow ochre, dark grey, and light yellow. SOLD.

MBM-453. Bernice Chee. Delightful and elegant, tightly and evenly woven mat/throw, 27 in. x 14.5 in., in a traditional stacked, extended vegetation/flower design, rust/sienna, deep red, deep brown/grey, warm medium tan, light yellow. Deep red edge cords and a traditional handsome herringbone weave at the vertical ends in deep red. SOLD.

Horizontal view of MBM-453. SOLD.

MBM-372. Bernice Chee, from Lukachukai. Another weaving from a participant in the Navajo Textile Program at Dine' College, Tsaile, Arizona. Finely woven squashblossom and clouds motif, in pure white, bright red, grey/tan, and black, 30.5 in. x 18. in. SOLD.

MBM-424. Bernice Chee, Lukachukai, from the region well-known for its Ye'ii (Holy People) weavings, Bernice has sent us this superbly woven four-figure Ye'ii, 22.75 in. high x 30 in., with two weaver's protective pathways. A dark warm-brown field bordered by deep mars-red and tan cloud forms and stripes of warm tan and blue-grey sets off the four standing Ye'ii, two holding prayer rainbow wands and two holding black and white prayer feathers, in light tan, warm sienna, mars red, dusky salmon pink, gold ochre, dark red moccasins, and turquoise earrings, necklaces, and belts. The edge cords are white. A fine and powerful Ye'ii weaving by a younger but very accomplished weaver. This weaving is currently on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition that opened Oct. 23, "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." SOLD at the museum in April 2005.

MBM-396. Bernice Chee's sister. Young woman's biil, traditional Dine' (Navajo) dress. This is the kind of dress worn by Dine' girls and women before the velvet outfts, adapted from Anglo dress after the Long Walk.and years of imprisonment at Fort Sumner. Woven as two separate panels, stitched together, and usually with a V-neck, this dress is now often the clothing of choice for high school graduations, kinaalda (coming-of-age ceremonies), and other ceremonial occasions. The reds in the upper and lower design panels are the same--the photograph makes them appear differently. This biil is tightly and softly woven by Bernice Chee's sister, in traditional colors of black, red, and white, 26 wefts per inch, 42 in. long. x 19 in. wide (38 in. around). It is usually worn with a ceremonial sash, turquoise and silver collar "v's," squashblossom necklace, and other silver and turquoise pins. This particular dress is exceptionally well made. SOLD.

Mary & Lena Manygoats, mother and daughter,Tonalea/Red Lake

MBM-511. Mary Manygoats, elder, age 85. Powerful, large, glowing, abstract "storm pattern" weaving, an eloquent prayer for rain by this 85-year-old traditional weaver from Tonalea/Red Lake, 62 in. x 29.5 in., woven of all handspun churro in natural (grey, white, black, Red Mesa), vegetal-dyed (wild carrot gold), and commercial red dyed (the vertical rectangles in the four sacred mountains in the four corners) handspun yarns of fleece from her own flock. Imagery includes rain clouds, an old-style barred border motif (perhaps a snake theme and/or weaving combs), and zigzag water beetles. This weaving is sturdy, soft, and thick--can be put on the floor, a couch, or your wall, and has amazing clarity, detail, and presence. This is a historic weaving that speaks of a lifetime of skill, beliefs, and work, in all handspun Churro yarns--a tradition passed on to her daughter, Lena Manygoats, in the weavings shown below. SOLD.


MBM-506. Lena Manygoats. Glowing and powerful storm pattern, 44 in. x 32 in. The photo doesn't do justice to the colors in this all handspun churro from her own flock, soft and thick, woven in natural white, black, grey/multi, and vegetal-dyed deep moss/olive green and glowing wild carrot gold. Lena said that because of the drought she had to travel hundreds of miles this summer to find enough wild carrot to dye her yarn, while leaving enough plants to reseed if and when the rains begin again. There is also a rich dark commercial dye red in the center stacked diamonds and flanking the center, and two weaver's pathways. This intense prayer for rain links the traditional imagery of the storm pattern, with abstract water beetles, water spiders, and watersnake images, and the four sacred mountains joined by lightning to the the center. A very special and especially rare weaving. $650 ($550 to weaver; $100 to general fund). Returned to weaver at her request, this weaving has been sold, but a similar one can be commissioned.

-MBM-508. Lena Manygoats. All handspun natural color churro from her own flock, this powerful Two Grey Hills design is in natural white, black, and grey/multi, and the four sacred mountains in the corners are a deep Red Mesa (which doesn't show as its true color in the photo). The center motif of stacked clouds is a vivid prayer for rain. 41 in. x 28.5 in. ($550; $450 to weaver; $100 to general fund [SOLD].

MBM-513. Lena Manygoats. Magnificent and glowing"Two Grey Hills" variant design, woven of all-handspun Churro from her own flock, 37 in. x 26.5 in., in natural pure white, medium multiflecked grey, a deep rich brown in the outer stepped mesas (doesn't show in the photo), and natural black, with aniline hand-dyed red. Soft and strong as only Churro wool can be, this bold symphony of stepped mesas and clouds surrounding a rich red four-drections center, could go on the floor, a couch, or a wall. There are two grey Spider Woman four-directions crosses flanking the center (left and right) which ground the bar that moves from black to brown as it crosses the center of the weaving. The four sacred mountains are woven in pure white in the four corners (there is no pink in them--another photo flaw---they're natural white). This is another powerful and unique traditional all-handspun Churro weaving by Lena Manygoats. $650 ($550 to weaver; $100 to the general fund). [SOLD]

MBM-512. Lena Manygoats. Magnificently woven and balanced traditional weaving of all handspun Churro yarn from her own flock, in natural greys, white, and black, and vegetal-dyed (wild carrot deep gold and paler gold), and aniline-dyed maroons, 41.25 in. x 24 in. The powerfully abstracted storm pattern is flanked by equally abstract plant/arrow design borders. Weaver's openings and other protective elements can be seen in this sturdy, elegant, soft and thick weaving, which can be put on the floor, on a couch or bed, or hung on the wall. [SOLD]

MBM-468. Mary Manygoats, 84 years old, has woven this all-handspun churro single saddle blanket, 33 in. x 30 in., in , from their own flock, in natural black, white, grey/multi, vegetal-dyed gold, commercial-dyed red in the four corners, and with protective che'etiin (openings) woven into each corner. Thick and soft, this blanket would be at home anywhere. This is the old-style traditional handspun churro weaving that has been sustained for hundreds of years in an unbroken tradtion of Black Mesa area weavers. SOLD

MBM-469. Lena Manygoats, Mary Manygoats's daughter, continues the tradition, in this all-handspun churro "storm pattern" weaving, 34 in. x 32 in., from their own flock. A prayer for rain, it depicts the classic storm pattern motifs of the four sacred mountains, linked by lightning and clouds to the center of the universe, with abstract water beetles, spiders, and lightning/snake motifs, in natural black, grey/multi, white, and glowing vegetal-dyed gold. Sturdy, thick, and soft, this weaving can also go anywhere. The photo is very inadequate--this is a magnificent blanket. SOLD.

MBM-411. Mary Manygoats, 83 years old, from Cow Springs, Tonalea/Red Lake area, recently sent us this awesome entirely handspun storm pattern weaving, 61.5 in. x 31 in. This powerful prayer for rain is woven of natural and several shades of vegetal-dyed handspun churro yarn--with subtle shifts of glowing gold (from wild carrot) and a lighter ochre (perhaps from a lichen), natural grey, black, white, and commercial-dyed red. The four sacred mountains, linked by lightning, surround the center of Dinetah (Navajoland), which is also the center of the cosmos. In this center are clouds/mesas, which link again to the central four directions, surrounded by zigzag snake and abstract water beetles, and more clouds in this eloquent call for rain. Her daughter, Lena, told me that because of the drought and the drying up of the land as the N-aquifer is drained, the roots of the wild carrot and other vegetal dye plants can no longer be found... They aren't there any more. This is a rare weaving from a master weaver who has been weaving all her life, and she shares in it the wisdom and knowledge of that lifetime of work. This weaving, thick and sturdy enough to be put on the floor (or hung on the wall), is currently on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition, opening Oct. 23, "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." SOLD.

MBM-393. Lena Manygoats, a relative of the noted Manygoats family of traditional potters, and a fine weaver. This Two Grey Hills variation, 32 in. x 24.75.in., is woven in black, dark chocolate brown, warm taupe/tan, sienna rust, and mars red on a medium grey field. This weaving is on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition that opened Oct. 23, "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." (SOLD, February 2005).

MBM-437. Lena Manygoats. All handspun natural color churro traditional double saddle blanket, 61 x 31.5 in., with prayer feather and lightning/snake motifs, and everal protective pathways. Natural white, black, shades of grey, tan, multi/grey, two shades of Red Mesa, and dark warm chocolate brown. Thick and sturdy, can go on the floor, a wall, or a horse... See detail below. SOLD


MBM-437. Detail. All natural, handspun churro wool.

MBM-394. Lena Manygoats, unusual "Dazzler" blanket, 30 in. x 23.5 in., in deep brown, medium grey, warm taupe/tan, rust, a mustard yellow ochre, dark moss green, deep mars red, and white. SOLD at Cultural Survival Summer Bazaar, Tiverton Four Corners, RI.

Consigned by Loretta Saganitso

MBM-184. From Loretta Saganitso, daughter of Lena and Norris Nez, wonderful large handspun natural color churro wool weaving with a fascinating design--a double Two Grey Hills motif within a powerful storm pattern, 63 in. x 30.5 in., all handspun wool in natural "Red Mesa," white, black, and native processed deep red wool. SOLD at Cultural Survival bazaar, May 2002.


Mary B. Begay, Hardrock

MBM-269. Mary B. Begay, Hardrock. Eloquent and powerful traditional and large storm pattern weaving in all handspun wool and natural colors, a landscape of Dinetah and a prayer for rain, 58 in. x 36.5 in., in natural white, tan/grey/multi, rich chocolate brown, black, aniline-dyed red and deep maroon. The four sacred mountains surround the place of emergence and Earth's center, corresponding to the four directions and the four corners of the Earth, linked by lightning and interspersed by stacked clouds, with water beetle and other rain-bringing motifs. SOLD

Write to: Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land, Inc., P.O. Box 95204, Newton, MA 02495
or email to: carol@migrations.com to place an order or for more information.
Or call toll-free 866-4-CHURRO (866-424-8776) Eastern Standard Time 10 a.m.- 7 p.m.

Copyright © 1998 -2011 Carol Snyder Halberstadt, Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land, Inc. All rights reserved.

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