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Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land

from Coal Mine Mesa & Tuba City:
Lena Nez

Lena Nez starting a new weaving on her loom, June 3, 1999.

MBM-301. Lena Nez. Large and powerful, superbly balanced Two Grey Hills design, impeccably woven in 24 wefts per inch, with an amazingly fine zigzag border in handspun and vegetal-dyed churro yarn and commercial wool: warm dark chocolate brown, Navajo tea tan, natural white, warm sienna/ochre/rust, and deep teal blue (commercial), 53.25 in. x 29.5 in.
$900 ($850 to weaver; $50 to general fund). Returned
to weaver at her request, December 2009).

MBM-497. Lena Nez. Traditional double saddle blanket, all handspun with landscape center, 57.5 in. x 33.5 in. in natural dark brown, vegetable dyed? burnt orange, grey/multi center. Not currently for sale.

MBM-498. Lena Nez. This photo doesn't begin to do justice to this large and powerful "Two Grey Hills" design, 63.5 in. x 38 in., in handspun and commercial wool, black, Navajo tea tan/taupe, chocolate brown, dark maroon, dark grey, and black, with several protection lines woven in to this abstract landscape of Dine' Bike'yah (Navajoland): the four sacred mountains in the corners, the central lake of emergence with mountains and cloud motifs, and a classic border of reversed mountains and clouds. $1,100 ($900 to weaver; $200 to general fund).

MBM-499. Lena Nez. Dazzling and complex storm pattern with double Two Grey Hills design, 48 in. x 39.25 in., withe feather/arrow motifs in the four sacred mountains at the four corners, double and asymmetrical Spider Woman four-directions crosses flanking the complex center image, and a complex border with mountain/cloud motifs. There is a long weaver's opening (see detail below). Handspun and commercial wool in black, white, dark grey, and red. [SOLD, May 2008]

MBM-500. Lena Nez.All handspun natural and commercial dye (red) tightly woven traditional striped blanket, 46 in. x 27 in., in handspun (grey, brown, black), light grey, cream white, pale pink, dark red, and teal blue. Obviosuly, the photo isn't showing all the colors in this subtle and eloquent blanket. $550 ($400 to weaver; $150 to general fund).

MBM-302. Lena Nez. Slightly smaller but equally powerful and beautifully balanced Two Grey Hills design, 40 in. x 28. in., in natural white, raw umber, Navajo tea, warm dark chocolate brown, and a deep teal blue. (SOLD)

MBM-353. Tree of Life, consigned by elder and master weaver Lena Nez of Coal Mine Mesa, 57 in. x 35 in. This is the third most amazing Tree of Life tapestry weaving I've every seen, impeccably and tightly woven with a total of 74 birds--each one different in color. There are 11 pairs of hummingbirds, 20 pairs of birds sitting on the cornstalk facing outward, 27 pairs of flying birds, 4 pairs of birds in nests, 4 pairs of flowering branches amd flowering plants/vines in the four corners, and an intricate double border. Its seeming symmetry is really a magnificent asymmetry, which creates a profound balance that embodies a Diné world view. On an immaculate white field, buoyant and joyful, it is a song of color and light. The photographs cannot begin to do justice to this weaving.

The Tree of Life is an ancient human theme. Seen in Mesopotamian art of 8,000 years ago, possibly in the earliest art of modern humans (40,000 years ago), and in a multiplicity of manifestations worldwide, the Tree of Life has been uniquely interpreted in the Diné weaving tradition. In Diné' imagery, the Tree of Life is a cornstalk, topped by sacred pollen, growing out of the ts'aa', the ceremonial basket, which is itself a replica of the cosmos and the Earth within it. The cornstalk is surrounded by birds and plants, bestowing abundant blessings of life and sustenance, among them the hummingbird ("one whose wings whir"), beneficient helpers who are linked with rain.

No two birds of the 74 here are exactly the same--their asymmetrical symmetry is a celebration of life and hozho (balance, well-being, beauty, wholeness). SOLD.

Here are a few details:

The background is pure white--the tone that eppears here is an artifact of the photo and scanning.

MBM-281. This is the most elaborate and complex Tree of Life weaving I've ever seen. It's also superbly woven, tight, and even, 42.25 in. x 30 in. The photo amd scan cannot do justice to the charming design of hummingbirds hovering around the central cornstalk, topped by sacred pollen, growing from a ceremonial basket. Against a pure white background, additional pairs of birds--each on different--sit on the arms of the cornstalk. The design is beautifully anchored by foue different colored flowers--two pairs each in the four corners, and contained by a black outer border and blue inner border. SOLD

MBM-227. Lena Nez, fine storm pattern weaving, 22-24 wefts/inch, 40 in. x27 in., handspun wool in a very interesting and unique color combination of deep teal/blue, light green (vegetal dye wild spinach), white, and a rich mars red. This weaving 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 at opening of exhibit, 10/23/04.

MBM-266. Lena Nez. Intricately woven, crisp, tight, and sharply detailed handspun storm pattern with Tees Nos Pos outlined motifs and very finely woven pinyon border in tan, black, warm maroon, and white. 50 x 27. SOLD (at Cultural Survival Winter Bazaar, 12/7-8/02).

MBM-265. Lena Nez. Large, dramatic, and elegant storm pattern in handspun wool, vegetal and aniline dyes (wild Navajo tea is the background field color), teal-blue, white, ochre, raw umber brown, black, maroon, 56 in. x 38 in.


MBM-249. Lena Nez. Large, dramatic, and powerful Two Grey Hills design in handspun and commmercial wool, 22-24 wefts/inch, 53.25 in. x 29.75 in., in warm brown, natural white, deep teal blue, warm tan, deep mars red, and a blue-grey center.
$900 ($850 to weaver; $50 to general fund). Returned to weaver at her request, December 2009).

MBM-250. Lena Nez. Beautifully balanced and powerful Two Grey Hills design in handspun wool, 40 in. x 26.5 in., in warm brown (vegetal dye wild tea), natural white, deep teal blue, natural dark brown, 22-24 wefts/inch. SOLD at Cultural Survival bazaar, May 2002.


MBM-307. Lena Nez. Superb Two Grey Hills, 48 in. x 29.5 in., in dark chocolate brown, warm tan, white, light tan field, black, grey/multi, with an intricate reverse stepped cloud border and elegant stepped diagonal checkerboard design within the four corners, which are the four sacred mountains that surround Dine' Bikeyah. SOLD.

MBM-308. Consigned by Lena Nez., 48 in. x 29.5 in. This is the second most spectactular Tree of Life weaving, by the same weaver who made MBM-281. Hummingbirds, bluebirds, all kinds of marvelous birds fly among flowers and branches, and perch on the sacred cornstalk topped with pollen that grows from the ceremonial basket, which is itself a replica of Dine' Bikeyah and the cosmos. On an immaculate white field, the detail and variety of colors in this superb and tightly woven tapestry is impossible to photgraph or even begin to list... This is a unique and amazing piece of work and an incredible bargain for someone who knows value! SOLD.


MBM-275. Lena Nez, sold when 1/3 woven on the loom at the Cultural Survival spring festival (May 2002) magnificent and subtle all finely handspun churro wool in natural white and an amazinf vegetal dyed green (the border and all dark areas) from wild spinach, a light taupe from wild Navajo tea, and a deeper mauve-taupe from "two plants mixed together," 39.75 in. x 24.5 in., with weaver's pathway. The colors in this weaving defy my camera and scan and cannot begin to do them justice. This one is sold, but you can commission another similar weaving.

MBM-239. Lena Nez, special size storm pattern commissioned and sold, handspun churro wool, 31 in. x 19 in., natural white, tan (vegetal dye wild tea), natural ochre, natural warm brown umber, teal green.

MBM-240. Lena Nez. Stunning and intricate Two Grey Hills weaving: 10 colors, 24 wefts per inch, superbly woven in handspun and commercial wool with central Spiderwoman four directions symbol and weaver's pathway, 37.5 x 30.25 in. SOLD.

MBM-77. Lena Nez. Subtle and well woven Two Grey Hills variant design, 44 in. x 30 in., 20-22 wefts/inch; handspun churro and commercial wool in dark grey, light grey, vegetal dye peach, olive green/tan; commercial blue and pale yellow. S0LD

MBM-198. Powerful and dramatic large Two Grey Hills design, 24 wefts/inch, natural handspun and commercial wool, 53-1/2 in. x 35-1/2 in., an unusual warm natural dark grey field with natural white, subtle natural light grey, deep burgundy (commercial), warm tan (vegetal dye wild tea), light rust. SOLD.

MBM-199. Exquisite and subtle tour-de-force of balanced and elegant weaving, 24 wefts/inch, all handspun natural churro and vegetal dyed wool, 41-1/2 x 31 in., with weaver's pathway, light grey, dark grey, warm mauve/tan, gold ochre, warm rich umber brown, white. SOLD.

MBM-207. Lena Nez, tightly woven all handspun natural and vegetal-dyed churro wool storm pattern, 40.5 in. x 24.5 in., 24-26 wefts/inch, white, four shades of brown (warm tan, warm gold/brown, warm ochre, dark brown). SOLD (at Cultural Survival Winter Bazaar, 12/7-8/02).

MBM-208. Lena Nez, lovely storm pattern, tightly woven all handspun churro wool (24-26 wefts/inch), 39.75 in. x 25.75 in., white, warm brown, warm tan, warm raw ochre, and blue-teal. SOLD.

MBM-146. Lena Nez, Klagetoh/Ganado Two Grey Hills design, handspun and commercial wool, 32 in. x 25. in., SOLD.


MBM-118. Lena Nez, Two Grey Hills design of handpsun and vegetal dye churro wool, 30 in. x 22 in., SOLD.

MBM-119. (left) Lena Nez holding her storm pattern weaving, all handspun natural and vegetal dye wool, finely woven (22-24 wefts/inch), with water beetles, prayer feathers, cloud, lightning, and mountain motifs, and an intricate pinyon border, 41.5 in. x 30 in., Commissioned and sold (see photo from buyer, below).

Photo sent by the buyer of Lena's MBM-119 storm pattern weaving, showing it hanging in her home.

#MBM-35. Two Grey Hills variant design with weaver's pathway, all handspun churro wool, 37 in. x 34.5 in., tight, very even weave, 24 wefts/inch. SOLD.


Large Dine' ts'aa' (Navajo ceremonial basket), new, sweet-smelling, woven of sumac by a Dine' from Sweetwater, 16-3/4 in. diameter, consigned by Lena Nez. SOLD.

Anna Begay, a Dine' elder from Coal Mine Mesa, holding sumac splints, from which ceremonial baskets are woven.


MBM-37. Lena Nez. Exquisitely woven Crystal blanket design, deep maroon, carded brown-grey, light grey, and pale yellow "water" stripes, 44 in. x 26.75 in., 24 wefts per inch. SOLD


MBM-41. Lena Nez. Storm pattern variation, handspun and vegetal-dyed churro wool, 40.75 in. x 28 in., turquoise is rabbit brush; two shades of browns from dry and fresh onionskins. 22-24 wefts/inch, tight and smooth. SOLD.


MBM-36. Lena Nez. Storm pattern, commissioned and sold, 41 in. x 28 in., all handspun and vegetal dyed churro wool. SOLD.

MBM-6. Lena Nez. All handspun and natural and vegetal-dyed wool (light turquoise is rabbit brush, two light shades of tan are from dry onionskin and fresh onionskin, plus dark brown and white natural wool), storm pattern design, 40.5 in. x 27.5 in, 24 wefts per inch. SOLD. Three similar ones have been commissioned and sold.

MBM-9. Lena Nez. All handspun, natural and vegetal-dyed wool, Two Grey Hills design, 57.5 in. x 39.25 in., 22 wefts per inch. SOLD.

Two weavings in Lena Nez's home.

On left or top: MBM-7. Lena Nez. Eight-star, commercial wool, 38 in. x 21 in. On right: or bottom: MBM-8. ten-star, commercial wool, 35.5 in. x 22 in. BOTH SOLD.

Go to Black Mesa Weavers Grace Yazzie & Sherry Yazzie

Write to: Migrations, P.O. Box 543, Newton, MA 02456
or email to: carol@migrations.com to place an order, or for more information.

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