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Navajo Weaving I & II

Learn the art of weaving from master Navajo weavers Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete, originally from Two Grey Hills and Newcomb, NM. While instructing and demonstrating, the sisters will share their family’s personal weaving stories and experiences, giving you a view into the world of Navajo weaving.

Beginners: Learn the traditional method of Navajo weaving and begin weaving with a pre-warped, upright Navajo loom. The majority of the week will be spent designing and learning how to weave a 12’ x 16’ rug. This workshop includes a lesson on warping a loom. You may enroll for the full two weeks or only the first week.

Intermediate: If you have taken the course or have basic Navajo weaving training on an upright loom, you will explore more advanced techniques and patterns, and your rug may be any size. Bring rugs from previous summers to complete, or begin a new rug. You must bring your own loom, set up for weaving before class begins. Or, you may order a pre-warped loom when registering online for $45. You may enroll for the full two weeks or only the second week.

According to Navajo tradition, two holy people, Spider Woman and Spider Man, introduced weaving to the Navajo. Spider Man constructed the first loom, which was composed of sunshine, lighting and rain; and Spider Woman taught the people how to weave on it. Spider Woman was discovered by the Holy Twins, the culture heroes of the Navajo Creation Story, in a small opening in the earth surrounded by an array of beautiful weaving. Entering her dwelling, the Holy Twins descended a ladder made of yarn, whereupon Spider Woman offered them knowledge of the world of weaving. The instructors’ book, “How to weave a Navajo rug and other lessons from Spider Woman,” will be available for sale.

  • For comfort, you can bring a pillow or cushion for your chair
  • A small clamp-on lamp to attach to your loom
  • Reading glasses, if needed

Find the full materials list here.

Barbara Teller Ornelas (Diné) is Tábąąhá (Water Edge Clan) and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan). Originally from the Two Grey Hills, Newcomb, NM areas of the Navajo Nation. Barbara is best known for her ultra fine Diné tapestry weavings (95–120 weft threads per inch). She has set several records with her weavings, winning Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market twice; she set a new record in 1987 by selling a weaving for $60,000 that she and her sister Rosann Lee made; and she wove the largest tapestry-style Navajo weaving on record. Barbara is a fifth-generation weaver who has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Americana and Native Peoples magazines, as well as many books. Barbara and Lynda published their first book, Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today, in 2018 and have published their second book How to Weave a Navajo Rug and Other Lessons from Spider Woman in 2020. She has won dozens of awards, and has demonstrated and lectured at many museums and institutions around the world. 

Lynda Teller Pete (Diné) is Tábąąhá (Water Edge Clan) and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan). Originally from the Two Grey Hills, Newcomb, NM areas of the Navajo Nation. Lynda began weaving at age 6 and won her first major award at age 12 at the Gallup Inter-tribal Ceremonial Art Show in Gallup, New Mexico. She has gone on to win many awards for her weaving, including Best of Classification for Textiles at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. Lynda collaborates with museums, schools and art venues in Colorado and around the country to teach about Navajo weaving. Just recently, Lynda accepted the position of Board Director with the Textile Society of America. She is also known as an accomplished beadwork artist and has won many awards for this work. Barbara and Lynda published their first book, Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today, in 2018 and have published their second book How to Weave a Navajo Rug and Other Lessons from Spider Woman in 2020.

Website: www.navajorugweavers.com

Generous donors have made scholarships and fellowships for adult workshops available on a limited basis for these specific groups:

1) Native American Community Leaders, Artists, Members, and Teachers
2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

Scholarships include tuition, dorm housing, and all meals provided by the campus dining service.

Scholarship Details: 

1) Native American Community Members, Leaders, Artists, and Teachers

For adults 19 and older, with current tribal affiliation. The scholarship is designed to bring community leaders, artists, members, and teachers,  to workshops at Idyllwild Arts to benefit both the scholarship

 recipients themselves as well as those in their schools or tribal communities. Applicants with financial need may receive priority. We also offer scholarships for Native American Teens for both the Summer Program and the Academy.

2) Inland Empire Teachers, Professors, and Graduate Students

For teachers and graduate students from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and the adjacent areas). This scholarship brings teachers and graduate students to Idyllwild Arts to attend Native American Arts workshops. This is designed to benefit both recipients as well as their students and communities. Applicants with financial need may receive priority. Provided through the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians.

Click here for more information about adult scholarships.

Age: 19 years and above

Dates:
Beginning (I) – June 14-18
Intermediate (II) – June 21-25
Two one-week sessions

Tuition: $755 per week

Lab Fee:
$80 for Beginners (I); no lab fee for Intermediate (II) (wool and warp available for purchase).

Skill Level:
Week I – All levels; Week II – Intermediate or completed Week I

Enrollment is limited to 6 students. (Capacity may increase to 12 pending changes in Health Guidelines from the CDC and local authorities.)

Faculty:
Barbara Teller Ornelas
& Lynda Teller Pete

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