Navajo rugs are woven in the square (rectangle) because their looms are constructed to accept those shapes. This weaving, however, is constructed on a round rim loom, among the most difficult shapes to weave. The warp is strung in a single strand, so is the basic structure of the shape, wound tightly around the rim. The weft, wool that creates the design, is then stacked in the traditional fashion.
This weaver, the notable Mary H Yazzie of Toadlena, is one of the only weavers in the history of Navajo weaving to perfect this shape. After many decades of building a Matriarch status, Mary now concentrates on this shape. “I don’t know how long I will be weaving,” she says. “So I want to make as many of these historical pieces as I can, to show the youngsters what they too, can do.”
Mary handspins her native wool and weaves in her area’s traditional “natural colors” of the wool. The design is the “Night Sky,” as told in Navajo legends. In the design you can see the dark sky permeated with stars and two Horned Moons, one for day and one for night. The might Yeibichai flank the sky and corn stalks bless the design with their pollen. Canyons, caves and clouds complete the design. A dark border encompasses the field.
COLLECTOR ALERT, NEW condition