Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Rug Show Moments 2011 - Fine Dress

by John Aldrich

The rug show is a feast for the eyes. The displays of rugs, jewelry, baskets, and crafts certainly create an extravagant visual treat. But add to that the traditional dress of the Elders and their families and you have something extraordinary.

Although I'm only guessing, I doubt that Navajos living their daily lives on the reservation have too many occasions to bring out their finery. But the rug show is one event where they show their best.

This photo of the Blackhorse-Benale family of Forest Lake shows multiple generations all dressed in the traditional manner:

Brightly colored velveteen blouses and skirts augmented by silver and turquoise jewelry make a dazzling display of color. Turquoise is the favored stone for jewelry as it traditionally provides protection to the wearer.

Here are Frances Bahe and her daughter Marie wearing their beautiful jewelry:

Frances is also wearing a Pendelton coat, another favorite among traditional Navajos.

Most traditional Navajos do not cut their hair, but wear it done up tightly and tied with yarn in a hair bun. This style is not limited to the women as Julius Chavez demonstrates:

Another aspect of traditional dress is leather moccasins complemented by deer hide leggings. Here Darlene Furcap is fitting the leggings for her daughter:

Young Navajo women often wear rug dresses at special occasions. These are woven in the same manner as blankets. At the show this year were two very special rug dresses. The first was created for Marty Whitehair by her parents for her graduation. It incorporates a horse in keeping with a theme often seen in the weavings of this family:

The other unique dress is a multiple rug design made by Darlene Furcap for her daughter Dianna:

And finally, back to the topic of hair, Harry Begay shows that he has talents beyond roping as he fixes the hair of his niece, Bobbi Jo Whitehair:

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating to see the different hair styles and the rug dresses.