Sunday, December 16, 2012

Rug Show 2012 - The Main Event I

by John Aldrich

Starting with the Friday night gala, the rug show is open to the public for the duration of the weekend. The opening event serves as a fund-raiser for ANE to help cover the expenses of staging the show, and the auction is the centerpiece of the evening. Equally important, though, is introducing to the public the exciting collection of rugs, jewelry, and crafts that are available for sale. These sales accomplish the essential roll of the show which is to return money to the reservation to assist the Elders and their families through the upcoming winter months.

We had an excellent turnout for Friday evening, and patrons had a chance to savor the delicious h'ors d'ouerves in addition to shopping and attending the auction.

The crowd got busy shopping right away. The Weaving The Night Sky theme rugs sold almost immediately after the show opened. There was also lots of interest at the craft table where many unique items were offered.

Auction packages were on display to pique the interest of prospective bidders.

And to help set an appropriate mood, native flute music was offered by the talented duo of Nancy Haga and Gary Hansen. Nancy had a particularly beautiful instrument with inlaid stones.

Before the auction started, the organizers were honored with rugs donated by the Elders. Art Sleeper was the main organizer of the event while Pauline Blanchard and Sharon Lewis provided able assistance.

Our auctioneer, Richard O'Keefe, once more led a rapid-paced, entertaining, and successful event.

Many were amused when this young lad played an active roll bidding with the encouragement of his family.

On Saturday the initial event of the day was to be the crowning of our new Shi Yazhi princess. Unfortunately, this had to be postponed because her family needed to out of town. However, Eileen Quintana, one of the co-chairs of this event, still provided a very informative program about the history of the event. Here she interviews her granddaughter Tasheena who was our princess several years ago.

In an area set off near the entrance, all the donations for the Elders are collected. Between everything the school children had brought and food donated as an admission, there was quite a large amount of things that needed to be taken to Elders' vehicles. Fortunately for Fred Palmer and Harry Begay, a group of high school boys showed up to help with this job.

On the show floor, Floretta Machen assists two women learn how they can make a donation of wool to one of the weavers at the show. These bundles provide enough wool to make a rug 2' x 3' in size.

One of the younger visitors to the show, this little boy has a stuffed horse made from Blue Bird Flour sacks.

In the early afternoon on both Satuday and Sunday, the weavers demonstrate their unique skills. Here, the practiced hands of Anna Jackson move with an effortless grace across her loom. It is mesmerizing to watch how a lifetime of weaving leads to movements that are second nature to Anna.

The end result is hopefully the sale of a rug. Elsie Benale stands here with a couple who will be very pleased with this storm pattern rug they have purchased.

The late afternnoon entertainment on Saturday is the popular Navajo Grandma Idol Contest. This year contestants were asked to sing about meeting a man with a one-eyed Ford. They had only a few minutes to think this over before getting up to sing.

Darlene Furcap was one of the first to perform and is accompanied here by Jay Tavare. The hat that each singer wore no doubt added to their inspiration.

In the end, Vina Horseherder was determined the winner through audience applause. The runners up were Anita Jackson and May Shay. There were appropriate prizes for each.

Elders wear their best to the rug show. Frances Bahe's dress is very traditional and embellished with silver and turquoise.

1 comment: