Wednesday, December 17, 2014

ANE Volunteer Christmas Party

by John Aldrich

Yesterday we had our annual Christmas party for volunteers at the warehouse. This is always a fitting and enjoyable close to the year. We had a good turnout and enjoyed delicious potluck food and a variety of games. Linda also read letters of appreciation from a number of Elders. In the giveaway spirit, the prizes for the games were gift boxes to be sent to an Elder of choice. Gifts from the Elders were also distributed to those present.

When we return after the holidays, the warehouse, which has already seen a beautiful transformation this year, will have had new carpeting installed. We've had a great year and look forward to the next. And we wish all of you the best for the Holiday Season and the New Year.

Here is a collection of photos from yesterday's event presented without further comment:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rug Of The Week - And Many More

by John Aldrich

Many new rugs have recently been added to our catalog. These include new arrivals as well as rugs acquired just prior to the rug show that didn't sell at the show. There are many beautiful rugs to be seen - both new and old. Please visit our online rug catalog and have a look.

One of the newest is a remarkable weaving by Mary Secody. It arrived after the show so has just appeared in the catalog.

This complex weaving contains five rugs laid out in a storm pattern design. This storm rug, in turn, is contained within a background created by a Chinle star-type rug. Mary often uses soft pastel colors in her rugs as she has done here.

This rug is large measuring 54" by 74" so it won't necessarily fit on every wall. But the price is a comparative bargain at $3000 given its size and complexity. The catalog listing is 7755.

Mary Secody, daughter of Dorothy Secody, one of our Many Farms Elders, is a master weaver who likes weaving relatively large rugs. Here she is seen holding a Chiefs Blanket at the Many Farms food run this past spring.

This rug, 9049, is still available as well in our catalog and is priced at only $1000.

We hope you enjoy looking through our catalog.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Honoring Our Weavers - Rug Show 2014

by John Aldrich

The 2014 Rug Show of the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program represented the 25th anniversary of this event that began so humbly as a very small affair at the Kimball Art Center in 1990. This year's show honored those weavers who have been coming to the show for years as well as those who have passed on since the inception of the event.

It was gratifying that the show this year spurred record sales and attendance.

In recent years our weavers have been given a theme around which they create special rugs for the show. This year the challenge was to weave a self-portrait of themselves at the loom. This wall contained those rugs.

 The show began with special programs for school children on Thursday and Friday.

Some of the classes sponsor Elders through our classroom Amasani program. Katie Furcap received a quilt from her class.

The purpose of these programs is to give the children a glimpse of Navajo culture. They have an opportunity to see a variety of skills and activities that are important in the daily life of Navajo people. Weaving is, of course, the most important of these.

And the girls who had longer hair also had an opportunity to have it fixed in a traditional hair bun.

The students attending the show must have marveled that Israel Whitehair was able to weave such a beautiful rug at age twelve.

A special dinner was held Thursday evening to honor Elders and volunteers. A special thanks must go to the rug show chairpeople who devoted countless hours throughout the year to make the event happen. Each received a specially woven rug by Gloria Hardy.

The show opened to the public with a gala event on Friday evening. The first sight inside the door was the popular fine jewelry table.

Nearby was the table featuring rugs woven from handspun wool.

The Christmas Ornament Program provides an opportunity for people to purchase a beautiful hand-crafted ornament. Each has a photo of an Elder and a choice of things such as firewood and food certificates to help that Elder through the winter.

Throughout the show, Gary Hansen provided beautiful flute music.

The Walk In Beauty program benefits children on the reservation who often have very worn or ill-fitting shoes. Melyssa Holbrook, director of WIB had a dramatic display of shoes - old and new- along with thank you notes from the children.

Coordinating  the 200 or so volunteers who help at the show is a huge job. It was ably done by Elinda McKenna assisted by Mary Owen.

Linda and her assistants worked hard throughout the five day period of the show.

The Friday night auction is the only event during the show that directly benefits ANE. Samantha Pyne and her team did a great job this year with the bidding bringing in a record amount.

Photo albums of pictures from food runs of years past were available for Elders to view. These Teesto Elders enjoyed reminiscing.

On Saturday morning the Shi Yazhi Pageant gave young Navajo girls a chance to display what that had learned about their culture. Our new princess, Delaina Becenti, has great poise and will serve well as a representative of ANE.

During the weaving demonstration on Saturday and Sunday, show visitors were able to watch weavers at work and hear stories about their rugs.

Marty Whitehair, one of a generation of younger weavers, holds one of her beautiful rugs.

The Navajo Grandma Idol contest on Saturday afternoon is a popular. Singers were divided into age groups and had to make up a song about a subject they had only a few minutes to think about. Here are the three winners from the different age categories.

The Veterans Ceremony on Sunday morning is another very popular event. Speakers this year included 2 representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs of the Navajo Nation.
The third speaker was the son of our own Howard and Beverly Benally. Ben Benally is a veteran of the Afghanistan war and recipient of the purple heart.

At lunch of Sunday Santa made an appearance in the form of Bruce Burnham and presented each Elder with a stocking.

The show ended Sunday afternoon with the popular Pow Wow conducted by Harry James. There was lots of color along with thrilling drumming and singing.

The Friendship Circle completed the Pow Wow and provided a fitting end to the show.

These photos only touch the surface of activities during the event. Additional pictures can be seen here. If you were lucky enough to be a part of this year's show you know what a wonderful event it was. If not, we hope to see you at next year's show.