Sunday, July 20, 2014

Food Delivery

by John Aldrich

In pursuit of the goal to assist our Elders, the delivery of food, both in the form of food boxes as well as food certificates is central to our mission. As we get ready for the fall food runs, the first step in preparing to pack the Rainbow Food Boxes is to get the food to the warehouse. C.J. had worked out the order with a Walmart several miles away, and yesterday it was time to move it. Boyd Mitchell, who is practiced at this activity, rented a large Penske truck, and in the course of two round trips the food arrived at the warehouse and then had to be moved to designated spots around the periphery of the warehouse and unloaded from the pallets.

Waiting for the first truckload, some of us quickly realized that we had missed the memo about the proper attire for the day.

When the truck arrived, however, everyone forgot they thought they had signed up for a vacation to Hawaii and got to work.

Maneuvering the pallets off the truck is tricky, but Boyd is highly skilled at this and had no trouble .

Sam was our pallet jockey and is helped here by Lamar as they move canned food to its designated location at the perimeter of the warehouse.

Not to be outdone by the guys, Gene Berry rolled up her sleeves, donned her gloves, and worked just as hard as any of the rest of us.

Then it was on to peanut butter as Gene, Tony, John, and Jason formed a line to move the heavy packages off the pallet.

While C.J. and Lamar did the same with cans of corn.


Tony is working here on an inventory of the delivered food,

while C.J. checked his master list.

The second truckload was somewhat delayed by circumstances at Walmart, and some of the volunteers had to leave. Those that remained to the end paused for this final photo.

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came out to help with this big job. We're well on our way now with preparations for the upcoming food runs. The next major volunteer-intensive task will be packing the Rainbow Boxes. This will happen on two successive Saturdays, August 2nd and 9th. Details and time can be found on the Volunteer Activities page of our web site. We hope to see you then.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New Rugs In Our Catalog

by John Aldrich

The month of June typically sees a large influx of new rugs into our catalog. During the spring food runs Linda acquires a number at each of the food run sites. This year the total comes to over a hundred rugs that have been added to the catalog. A small sample is featured here, but you are invited to peruse the online listings and see them all.

This beautiful rug by Marisa Begay is the largest (and most expensive) of our new rugs. Woven into a classic storm pattern design are a variety of objects of ceremonial significance to the Navajo People.

Rug #9149, Ceremonial Rug, by Marisa Begay.

Elizabeth Clah of Many Farms hosts our food run at that location and also weaves beautiful rugs. Her Women Of The Mountain pattern is her own unique creation and this version is woven in the distinctive colors for which Elizabeth in known.

Rug #9048, Women Of The Mountain, by Elizabeth Clah.

The Blue Canyon design is modern but not seen too often. Rena Robertson of Hardrock does a beautiful job with this style and often weaves special figures into the design such as the Yei head in this rug.

Rug #9147, Blue Canyon Yei, by Rena Robertson.

Mary Secody from the Many Farms area is a master weaver who provided us with this beautiful Chief pattern rug.

Rug #9049, Chiefs Rug, by Mary Secody.

Here is another Chiefs rug, this time by a male weaver, Alec Runninghawk of Dilkon. Although of Sioux heritage, Alec is married to a Navajo weaver and has mastered the technique and styles of Navajo weaving with great skill.

Rug #9125, Chiefs Rug, by Alec Runninghawk.

Hogans are frequently seen in pictorial rugs. In this unique rug by Eunice Manson, however, the hogans take on a somewhat more abstract quality when combined with an eye dazzler background.

Rug #9175, Hogans On The Mesa, by Eunice Manson.

Lest you get the impression that our catalog is filled with large and expensive rugs, we actually have many smaller rugs at excellent prices by a variety of weavers. Mary Lee of Many Farms usually provides Linda with a small assortment of beautiful little rugs,with prices as low as $65.

Rug #9138, Diamond Stars, by Mary Lee.

This is just a small sample of our new rugs. You are invited to enjoy our entire online catalog of over 240 rugs.

See this 2010 post for more information about the rug catalog.

Notes: Every effort has been made to photograph and present the rugs with as accurate rendition of color as possible. It's not possible, however, to be certain that your computer won't show some variance. Where two prices are listed in the catalog, the higher represents what the weaver hopes to receive and the lower, the minimum she will accept. As has always been the case at ANE all the proceeds of every rug sale go entirely to the weaver. Prices are set by the weaver, and since there is no "middleman" they are typically very reasonable.


And to see more of what's happening at ANE visit us on Facebook.








Monday, May 26, 2014

Walk In Beauty - Spring 2014

by Melyssa Holbrook

(Note: Melyssa is the new director of the Walk In Beauty Program)

It was a beautiful Spring morning as my friend (since the 6th grade) Patti and I headed south from Grantsville, Utah, to the Navajo Reservation.  We would be delivering brand new sneakers to 11 schools.  As the new coordinator for Walk In Beauty, I was filled with excitement and also a little anxiety about the unknown.  This position is a huge undertaking.  I really wanted to make sure that everything went smoothly.  Of course, nothing is ever perfect, but I did all that I could to make sure that each school was scheduled, times and places were predetermined with each school coordinator, shoes were labeled and packed, and children were anxiously awaiting their brand new pair of sneakers!

Our first morning would ease us into the 10 day trip as we only had 1 school scheduled for delivery. Each day after that would be 2 schools per day.  30 children at Monument Valley Elementary were excited to receive their own pair of brand new and proper fitting sneakers!  This is something that I think most of us take for granted.  Most of us have many shoes.  Most of us think nothing of buying ourselves a new pair of shoes . . just because.  It has never occurred to many of us that there are children, and adults, right here in our own country, that have never had a brand new pair of shoes, who wear shoes that are too tight, or 2 sizes too large for their feet, or shoes that are so worn, tattered and full of holes that their socks can NEVER stay clean because of all the dirt and debris that is constantly passing through.
The Navajo Reservation encompasses over 27,000 square miles, about the size of the state of West Virginia.  56% live below the poverty level.  Less than 24% complete the 9th grade.  40% have NO electricity.  The area is so vast and remote than many schools on the Navajo Reservation are boarding schools.  Students live at the school Monday thru Thursday and only go home on the weekends.  For families with many children, this is a mixed blessing.  The boarding schools keep their children safe, provide 3 meals a day, laundry services, and homework help.  But it is also very hard having your family separated for so often.

While delivering sneakers for Walk-In-Beauty, we see first-hand the hardships that many Navajos face.  We also see the pride and hard work that so many people are putting into the children and their future.  The children that are receiving our sneakers are appreciative of, and grateful for, this gift.  Not only do these sneakers provide physical comfort, they provide a needed benefit of self-esteem and self-worth.
One child, when entering the room and seeing all the sneakers laid out said “Are these all for us?”
A first grade girl said, “ These are the softest socks I have ever had!”
The excitement and joy in their eyes is enough thanks for Patti and I.  But the children thank us over and over, and a couple children even stop back into the room later on in morning while we are still fitting other children with their brand new sneakers to say Thank You again.

A BIG “Thank You” to Patricia Bigman for being such a huge help and coordinating a smooth delivery at Monument Valley Elementary School!

Day 2 brought us to Canyon de Chelly Elementary and Tsaile Public School where we matched 61 pair of sneakers with 61 smiling faces.
At Tsaile, a 2nd grade boy struggled to tie his sneakers.  After spending a few minutes showing him the “Bunny ears” method of shoe-lace tying, he was so happy to have done it himself.  “Thanks for showing me how to tie my shoes”, he said.  One girl ran back into the family coordinator room about a half hour after leaving wearing her shoes.  She was almost screaming … “I love these shoes!!!  I don’t ever want to take them off!””
These 2 boys were looking pretty proud in their new sneakers.
Delivery Day #3 found us at Many Farms and Pinon.

Apparently we had brought with us some of the softest socks known to man!  There were so many comments just about the socks . . .
“These socks are so cushy”
“These are the most comfortable socks I have ever worn!”
“Wow!  These socks are soft!”
“I love these socks!”

Of course, the sneakers get rave reviews as well …..
“I don’t ever want to get these sneakers dirty!”
“I’m going to save these for a special occasion”
“These sneakers are so comfortable, they might put my feet to sleep”
“These are awesome!  They massage my legs even!”
“I just hope they can make me run faster than the dogs”

Delivery Day #4 was a scavenger hunt just for Patti and I to find the schools!!!  Both Rocky Ridge and Black Mesa Schools are on dirt roads.  I think we drove over 100 miles on dirt roads that day!  But we didn’t mind at all!  The scenery is absolutely stunning.  Plus we saw herds of sheep. Some cows and horses may have been trying to stop us from our duties by blocking the road, and we even saw 2 pronghorn!  After getting a little dusty, we arrived to deliver 50 pair of sneakers to very deserving a happy children.
Delivery Day #5 we arrived at Dilkon and Seba Dalkai.  We were lucky enough to arrive at Seba Dalkai while they were having a fundraiser and selling Navajo Tacos!  YUM!!!!
So after getting all the children fitted into the right sized sneakers and getting the library put back in order from our rearranging, we enjoyed a delicious lunch outside in the sunshine!  Our trip had provided us with perfect weather, a little windy on some days, but sunny and warm.
Not only were these sneakers full of holes and falling apart … they were about 2 inches too long for the 5th grade boy that was wearing them.  Had said that he had been wearing them all school year, and that he had gotten them from his brother.  He was full of smiles when he left wearing his new sneakers.
Our last day was spent at Leupp and Little Singer.

A 1st grade girl, after trying on her sneakers said, “Do I get to keep these?”

A 3rd grade boy was so excited with his sneakers, he said “I want to run until I find gold or iron!”

One of the faculty at Little Singer gave us school t-shirts as a thank you for bringing sneakers to their students.  It was a nice surprise, since we were there to give, not receive.  The Navajo people are a very generous and kind-hearted people.  It's always so heartwarming to be a part of something so deserving and needed as the Walk-In-Beauty Program, and Adopt-A-Native-Elder.  At EVERY school, someone always thanked us for our generosity, the bus driver, security staff, receptionist, the principal ….   Good deeds make everyone feel good!
I look forward to seeing many more happy faces next Fall!
If you wish to contact to Walk-In-Beauty, please email me (Melyssa) at walkinbeauty@hotmail.com
Donations can be sent to:
Adopt-A-Native-Elder, PO Box 3401,  Park City, Utah  84060 or can be made through our web site.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rug Of The Week - Teec Nos Pos by Irene Littleben

by John Aldrich

The Teec Nos Pos style of rug design arose in a location with a trading post by the same name. It's in the northeast corner of the Arizona portion of the reservation. Initially it was a regional design typical of traders' efforts to market a distinctive style that would appeal to a wide range of customers. And as was typical of many Navajo rugs designs, this pattern was inspired by the national interest in oriental-style rugs in the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Teec rugs tend to be quite intricate in their design and incorporate geometric patterns as well as often an elaborate border. Another characteristic is the use of varied and multiple colors.

Among the modern weavers of this pattern, the Littleben family of Rock Point has taken the use of color to a new level. Two sisters, Irene and Dorothy, are able to incorporate a mind-bending number of colors into their rugs.They might use anywhere from thirty colors to as many as 60. And despite the number of colors, they are carefully chosen to blend together into a pleasing tapestry of hues.

Given all these factors, it's no surprise that Teec rugs tend to cost a bit more than other designs.

This week's rug, by Irene Littleben, utilizes a tasteful blend of muted colors to achieve a beautiful and appealing weaving. The softer colors of the border accentuate the bolder spectrum in the interior portion. The result is striking.

Although priced at $2000, it is actually a bargain for a rug of this size that is so intricate and unique. The rug measures 43" x 64" and can be found in our catalog as number 9004.

See this 2010 post for more information about the rug catalog.

Notes: Every effort has been made to photograph and present the rugs with as accurate rendition of color as possible. It's not possible, however, to be certain that your computer won't show some variance. Where two prices are listed in the catalog, the higher represents what the weaver hopes to receive and the lower, the minimum she will accept. As has always been the case at ANE all the proceeds of every rug sale go entirely to the weaver. Prices are set by the weaver, and since there is no "middleman" they are typically very reasonable.


And to see more of what's happening at ANE visit us on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rug Of The Week

by John Aldrich

This week we are featuring a very special rug woven by Nellie Curley which she calls The Holy Ones, and in which she depicts the Navajo creation story.

Here is the rug:

And here is the story (as presented by Nellie and her husband and edited by Rodger Williams):

The Navajos regard their homeland to be sacred because the Holy Ones led them here. They called it Diné Bikéyah (the land of The People).

The Diyin Diné’é (Holy Ones) created the Navajo people and brought them to this spot. Some believe the Holy Ones came from the underworlds and others say the Holy Ones were already here, inhabiting the land. They also created the Four Sacred Mountains in the four cardinal directions of Diné Bikéyah. Changing Woman, Asdzaan Naadléé, also known as White Shell Woman, is one of those gods called Holy Ones.

The Four Sacred Mountains are: to the East, Sisnajini (Blanca Peak); to the South, Tsoodził (Mount Taylor); to the West, Dook’óosłiid (San Francisco Peak); and to the North, Dibe Nitsah (Mount Hesperus). Within the Diné Bikéyah are two other sacred mountains; Dził na’oodiłii (Huerfano Mountain) and Ch’ooli’ii (Gobernador Knob).

On the rug you will see the Four Sacred Mountains, Diné Bikéyah and the middle mountain represents the Blessing Way ceremony. The medicinemen pictured within the sacred mountains are known as Hatałi (singers) of the Blessing Way (Hozhoji – blessed way or good way). The Hatałi or medicinemen are some of the most respected individuals. People often come to them for advice or guidance because they know the stories and the knowledge about the good life.

The corn represents the planting, the growth, and the harvest seasons. The Holy Ones use it to perform powerful ceremonies (prayers and songs). In the background is the “storm pattern” rug design representing Father Sky and the prayers that bring the rain to Mother Earth. You can see the Holy Ones among the sacred mountains.

The sash belt down the middle of the rug represents the time when a girl becomes a woman. With her are her siblings and her mother and grandmother. You can see that they are all dressed in traditional Navajo clothing.

Changing Woman stands with the people. She is the one who introduced the Navajo Clan System to help keep order and harmony among all the living, including people. The Navajo strive to live in Hozhó or harmony and to respect all life forms.

After the Creation was finished, the Holy Ones saw that all was beautiful and they blessed it all. Then they initiated the Blessing Way ceremony.

Nellie's rugs are always beautifully woven, and this one is no exception. It measures 58" x 40" and has wonderful detail and color. The price is $3000, and the catalog listing is #7893 This would be a truly unique rug to own, especially since it is accompanied with such a detailed description.

See this 2010 post for more information about the rug catalog.

Notes: Every effort has been made to photograph and present the rugs with as accurate rendition of color as possible. It's not possible, however, to be certain that your computer won't show some variance. Where two prices are listed in the catalog, the higher represents what the weaver hopes to receive and the lower, the minimum she will accept. As has always been the case at ANE all the proceeds of every rug sale go entirely to the weaver. Prices are set by the weaver, and since there is no "middleman" they are typically very reasonable.


And to see more of what's happening at ANE visit us on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Honoring Our Weavers - Rug Show Theme for 2014

by Linda Myers

This year will be the 25th anniversary of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program's annual rug show. We are very proud to have held this event successfully over this period of time. Some of our Elders have been attending the show every year since it first began. Because of the ages of many of our weavers we decided that this year's show should be a special celebration honoring our weavers, especially since we felt some wouldn't be with us for the 30th year. As a part of this honoring we created a photo of all the weavers who come and participate each year at the show.

Each year we choose a special theme for the weavers to do a special rug for the following year's rug show. I thought it would be nice if each of the weavers could weave a self-portrait of themselves at the loom. For inspiration we showed them pictures as well as beaded necklaces of weavers sitting at their looms. For weavers that have passed, we asked their families to bring their mother's last rug to display this year. Ten weavers who have attended the show have passed on now.

As we began to receive the theme rugs in early January, I was deeply touched by how each Elder perceived themselves. We sent a form asking them questions about what the rug show means to them and what activities they enjoy. It was good to hear their responses. Sometimes it's just a small thing we do that will help a weaver sell her rug. The rug show sponsors over 70 traditional Navajo weavers and gives them all proceeds from the sale of their rugs.

 
We are proud of carrying on the traditions of weaving. And we also celebrate all the support we have received from our volunteers as well as the weavers and their families and the many wonderful people who attend the show each year and buy the rugs.

It is a great honor to help them sell their rugs.