Weaving a World: Textiles and the Navajo Way of Seeing

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Navajo weavings, long regarded for their remarkable aesthetics, have never before been investigated from the standpoint of the weaver's process and intent. WEAVING A WORLD explores the patterns and irregularities often overlooked or considered 'flaws' in these beautiful textiles, and it seeks to identify the mythic symbols and historic and personal stories they contain. The inclusion of objects and the use of colour, pattern, and weave variations are found to be significant symbols of the way a weaver thinks about the world. A weaver may pray her way into the centre of the rug, where the most intricate work and colour will appear. Patterns may portray a vision of the world animated by spirits and holy people, recounting the creation of the heavens, the earth, and the loom itself. WEAVING A WORLD includes seventy rugs from the celebrated collection of the Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and documentary photographs of today's weaving culture on the reservation. Winner, RMBPA, Trade Book Illustrated, 1997.