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Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land:
Star Mountain Grandmothers, Daughters & Granddaughters
Judy Keyonnie at a Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land hay run with three new weavings, September 14, 2000.
MBM-476. Judy Keyonnie. This ceremonial weaving has enormous power-- pure handsome churro, tightly woven in natural immaculate white and natural brown/grey (the color on the left--the brown/grey-- photo is more accurate), with a reverse image border of clouds, mesas, and vegetation, and a central ceremonial image, in a slightly larger than single saddle blanket size of 39 in. x 35 in. Judy Keyonnie told me the entire weaving image came to her in a dream, from which she awoke feeling good, and she started weaving it.
I had a feeling of its uniqueness when I first took it out of the box, recognizing the clouds imagery of the border, and feeling the unusual power of the central image, but unable to identify it. I asked another Dine' who visited our booth at the winter 2005 Cultural Survival bazaar in December 2005 if she could tell me what it was. The granddaughter and daughter of master traditional weavers from the Red Lake area of Black Mesa, she immediately put her hand on the center and said: "It's a hand trembler." A hand trembler is a man or woman who is consulted by traditional Dine' to diagnose illness and other problems, and prescribe appropriate treatment, which may include a specific ceremony. This kind of extraordinary traditional weaving is rarely seen for sale. Judy Keyonnie has confirmed that this is what the weaving must have meant in her dream, and has given her permission to tell its story here. The purity and power of this design is unique, and must be experienced to be fully understood. A very rare and special weaving.. SOLD by Needle Rock Fiberarts, Telluride, Colorado, September 2008).
MBM-329. Judy Keyonnie brought this handspun natural and commercial wool blanket to the June 2003 wool buy, along with her Churro wool to sell. The photo doesn't begin to do justice to this large, powerful, and beautifully woven Wide Ruins design--with its wavy water lines and star/plant themes--60 in. x 36.5 in., in dark brown, greys, natural white, black, and commercial tan/orange-flecked wool. (SOLD)
MBM-109. Judy Keyonnie is a granddaughter of Jennie Paddock. This all-handspun, powerful classic storm pattern weaving is tightly and evenly woven, in deep red, grey, black, and white, with lightning to the four sacred mountains, stacked clouds, and water beetle motifs, 40 in. x 25 in., SOLD.
MBM-120. Judy Keyonnie, small blanket of handspun and commercial wool, black, pink, yellow, and carded tans, 22 in. x 16 in., SOLD.
MBM-121. Classic reverse twill herringbone weave saddle blanket by Judy Keyonnie in natural, light tan, black with flecks of brown, 28 in. x 24 in.; this is one of the oldest Dine' (Navajo) weaving styles. SOLD.
Near Star Mountain
Star Mountain is a Dine' (Navajo) community on the southeastern edge of Black Mesa, not far from the Hopi mesas and the Teesto Chapter of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
MBM-107. "Black Lightning to Four Sacred Mountains," by elder Ida Mae Clinton, 30 in. x 25.5 in., all handspun wool from her own sheep, in deep red, black, grey, and white. SOLD.
Ida Mae Clinton, her adult daughter Rose, who is disabled and lives with her, and Ida Mae Clinton's granddaughter, June 1999.
"Calling for Female Rain"
(for Ida Mae Clinton)
Clouds of clay
and the sharp air
grey and cold
pierced by light
are rolled in hands
holding the sky
tipping great rain-filled pots
whose waters dash the earth
into the arms of rainbows.
make roots sing
soothe wounded grasses
and the mud
growing freely into people
(©2/2/01 Carol Snyder Halberstadt)
Ida Mae Clinton's homesite at Star Mountain
No One Owns the Earth
"This land is free for all the people,
even insects" (--Ida Mae Clinton, Dine'elder)
They hold the earth with their feet
and keep it with their hands.
The earth feeds them.
On Black Mesa, she is thirsty, and thin.
Her heart beats black with coal,
her heart is laid open
but the people hold her.
They sing her to live--
their hands would heal her still.
(©6/26/99 Carol Snyder Halberstadt)
As one of the long-time resisters who has refused to sign the "Accommodation Agreement" (AA) passed by Congress in 1996 (which would make her and her family "tenants" on their ancestral homeland, and restrict certain basic civil rights and religious freedom) Ida Mae Clinton could be served an eviction notice by the U.S. Attorney, which was a major concern until 2000. However, since the 2000 deadline passed, and jurisdiction over Hopi Partitioned Land has been handed over to the Hopi Tribe, the Department of Justice has indicated that it is not likely that any action will be taken against nonsigners. The Hopi Tribe could also serve them with eviction notices, but has not done so as of this date (December 2005), and any such proceedings would take a long time to wend their way through the court system. Nevertheless, the nonsigners live with the possibility that court proceedings could begin against those Dine' who have refused to sign the AA, which in their eyes violates the U.S. Constitution as well as international laws and treaties protecting the human rights and religious freedom of indigenous peoples. Also, nonsigners do not have the same rights to livestock permits and other protections included in the Accommodation Agreement. As of now, however, things are still quiet and they generally are being left alone by the Hopi tribal administration. The focus of Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land has always been and will be on problem solving--working to make life better for everyone in the region, and to heal the traumas of the partition of the land that had been shared by Hopi and Dine' for at least hundreds of years.
Our work is grounded in the knowledge that human and environmental justice are inseparable.
Small brush shelter at Ida Mae Clinton's homesite.
Sheep Beauty Way
She watches her flock,
an opening from the east.
They go out with the ewe and the ram
as a path in her weaving,
they go out without haste
toward Star Mountain.
They are white threads in the sage,
wefts of dark water in the rusted earth
calling for female rain.
They are blessed and will shelter us.
With the smoke of flowers, herbs and juniper
we have made a shade with four corners.
It is a prayer shawl,
a blanket of striped rock.
MBM-108. This powerful Ye'iibicheii weaving, of all handspun wool, is remarkable in its detail, intricate border, and strong depictions of the Ye'ii (Holy People), holding rainbow prayer sticks and arrayed in ceremonial clothing. At one end is a corn plant. The weaving is 34.25 in. x 23 in., in black, carded grey, turquoise, green, light blue, deep red, natural white, and gold/ochre. SOLD.
MBM-122. Jennie Paddock brought this small but beautiful "four corners" weaving to the hay run on September 14, 2000. Of handspun and commercial wool, it's 22 in. x 17 in, in black, red, blue, carded tan, and deep brown ochre. SOLD
Rosie B. Francis (may her memory be a blessing)
MBM-105. Rosie B. Francis, a sister of Jennie Paddock., passed away in the spring of 2003. She wrote in the note that came with this weaving, 30.5 in. x 20.5 in: "Two Face Star Design Old-Fashion Rug. Hand card, hand spin and dye yarn, out of own sheep." Deep red, carded tan, natural light tan, deep brown. SOLD.
All photographs and poems © 1999-2002 Carol Snyder Halberstadt.
Go to Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land Welcome page
Go to Churro Wool Fleece for Sale page
Write to: Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land, P.O. Box 543, Newton, MA 02456
or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place an order, or for more information. Or call 866-4-CHURRO (1-866-424-8776) Boston/east coast time, 10 am to 8 pm.
Copyright © 2000-2006 Carol Snyder Halberstadt, Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land. All rights reserved.
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