Known throughout the world for their skill and beautiful renditions in the textile arts, Navajo or Dine weavers both traditional and contemporary, will be presenting work depicting wild horses at the 22nd annual Adopt-a-Native-Elder rug show and sale at the Snow Park Lodge, Park City, Utah this November 11-13th. Although more traditional weavings, including saddle blankets, had very individual, geometric designs with pictorials and storm patterns, it was the noted family of Navajo weavers, the Whitehairs who inspired the inclusion of wild horses in this year’s theme.
Even though horses had been woven into Navajo rugs in the 1930s, contemporary artists, Martin Whitehair and his wife Rena’s first horse rug had a golden mustang woven into the center- a wild stallion named Bucky belonging to his brother Wayne. Both had been raised around horses and started weaving as the sole means to support their family.
The proceeds of the Annual Rug Sale go directly to the weavers and enables them to live and work on their land in traditional ways. Some raise their own sheep, spin and dye their own wool, putting thousands of hours into the creation of one work. Additional donations assist in helping Native elders who cannot afford to buy their own yarn. For more information on Adopt-A-Native-Elder and a link to the Annual Rug Sale and general rug catalogue go to www.anelder.org