Contemporary and Traditional Native American Hand Made
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Black Mesa Diné Weavers Show

Friday November 8, 2019 5:00 PM - Friday November 8, 2019 8:30 PM

Gathering Tribes is hosting an event with the Black Mesa Weavers which is operated by Glenna Begay and Rena Babbitt Lane, a 98 year old Diné elder. Glenna's daughter, Salina Begay, will be bringing Navajo rugs and jewelry to sell which will be available on November 8th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and November 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. Black Mesa Weavers will receive 100% of the proceeds of their sales.

Join us on Friday, November 8th at 7:00 p.m. to hear about the struggle of these Navajo weavers to remain on their land. In 1974, Senators Goldwater and McCain signed the Joint Use Area which split up the reservation lands between Hopi and Navajo. On the surface it may have looked like a dispute between two tribes, but actually Peabody Coal used the Hopi to push Navajos off their traditional land so that Peabody Coal could mine land being used traditionally by Diné people. Peabody Coal's lawyer John Bolton was able to mastermind the scheme by becoming the Hopi Nation's lawyer as well as Peabody's lawyer, bartering a deal where the Hopi would get a small amount of royalties from the settlement. Once the deal was signed it forced 14,000 Diné off of their land, which makes it the largest forced relocation in the USA since the Japanese Internment camps during World War 2.

In Salina's own words, "My family refused to sign the agreement, and because of this the Hopi rangers come and harass us and try to take our livestock. Our sheep are very important, they are part of our way of life, they feed us and they give us wool so that we can make Navajo traditional weaving blankets, and we use them in ceremony. When the rangers come to impound our sheep, they are infringing upon our way of life. Weaving our traditional blankets is our income, it is how we are able to continue to live off the land, and we want to pass this on to our next generations. Our rugs are very unique, weaving is a form of healing both for the body and mind, it takes away our stress of our struggles and our worries. Many elders live with fear about the future and how they will continue but weaving is one of the only things that keeps them going. That is how our Ancestors solved our hunger after colonialism, our livestock provide us with clothing, food, blankets and income. Our way of life is more sustainable than the Western way, even when we make our wool rugs we use natural plant dye and a loom that is spun by hand.

Our organization is called Black Mesa Diné Weavers, we are ran by my mom Glenna Begay and Rena Babbitt Lane( a 98 year old Diné elder). We work to provide opportunities for elders to sell their rugs and other crafts. By supporting our craftsmanship, you are helping to continue our way of life and supporting the livelihood of Diné elders."

 

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