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.

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