Weavers | Weavings | Wool | Jewelry | Pottery | Clothing | Baskets | Pipes & Firestarters | HerbsWerk | Home

Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land
from Coal Mine Mesa & Tuba City

Betty Nez

MBM-462. Betty Nez. Among six new blankets brought back June 2005, is this all handspun churro natural and vegetal-dyed blanket in the soft churro wool and single saddle blanket size that Betty Nez is known for (see her handspun yarn on our wool for sale page); 33 in. x 29 in., antique brown, brown/grey, red mesa, light yellow ochre (lichen), blue-violet (unknown source), with dark blue commerical wool end cords. (SOLD, to buyer who also bought MBM-462 and a Black Mesa Blanket, and emailed that she "loves them all."

Where do the ideas for the weavings come from? I asked a weaver's daughter.

"Look at the mesas, the rocks, the plants, and the sky, my mother told me, and you will see the weavings..."
On the way to Tuba City past Coal Mine Mesa, via Hwy. 264.

MBM-501. Betty Nez. All handspun churro natural and commercial dye (dark red) thick blanket, 45.5 in. x 36.5 in. in an asymmetric design and classic "hourglass" motif, with an unusual triangle in one corner (lower left), Betty's always fertile imagination at work! In dark brown/black, natural white, grey/brown/multi, antique brown, Red Mesa. An eloquent and powerful weaving, which, like so many of Betty Nez's traditional blankets, evokes the land and vegetation of Dine' Bike'yah (Navajoland). (Returned to weaver at her request, May 2009).

MBM-502. Betty Nez. All handspun natural churro, vegetation motif blanket, 44 in. x 29.5 in., in brown/grey/multi, natural white, dark brown/black, antique grey. (SOLD, to buyer who also bought MBM-462 and a Black Mesa Blanket, and emailed that she "loves them all..."

MBM-430. Betty Nez. Striking, subtle, nd unuaual all handspun natural color churro wool from her own flock, single saddle blanket, soft and thick, 33 in. x 33 in., in a raised outline (this side) reverse twill Two Grey Hills design, in white, black, Red Mesa, and a vegetal-dyed light grey/blue. $325 ($225 to weaver); $100 to general fund).

MBM-430. Betty Nez., side two (without raised outline).

Some handspun churro "saddle blanket" yarn from Betty Nez, in natural white, rich Red Mesa/chocolate brown, natural natique grey, and two shades of vegetal-dyed greens. SOLD

Please see our "Wool" for sale page for more handspun yarns still in stock from Betty Nez, Lena Nez, and Edith Simonson.

MBM-503. Betty Nez. Another of her unconventional, imaginative, and asymmetrical "Tree of Life" weavings, 32 in. x 24 in.. This playful pictorial is woven of all handspun churro, natural and vegetable dyed, and a bit of commercial wool. A reverse twill two sacred mountains Earth pattern grounds the bird houses hung on natural branches and trees, with multiple birds (see detail below) perded and flying among them. In the distance are rock formations topped ny a blue sky and white clouds. The background is a pure natural white--which these photos fail to show--it's not tinted pink! $250 ($200 to weaver; $50 to general fund).


It's not often that we receive ceremonial Dine' baskets (ts'aa') for sale. Here are two:

MBM-504 (on left), is an older basket thast has been used in Dine' ceremonies. It has corn meal among its stitches, and the center is plugged with an old piece of white cloth. 11.5 in. diameter, 2.75 in. deep. $285 ($185 to Betty Nez; $100 to general fund). The basket is in excellent condition, no broken stitches or any damage.

(on right) is a brand-new basket, beautifully and tighly woven, 13.75 in. diameter, 2 in. deep. $295 ($195 to Betty Nez, $100 to general fund).

MBM-461. Betty Nez.A third traditional blanket, all haundspun natural color churro, 32 in. x 27 in., in grey/brown, a warm red mesa, white, black, with commercial blue edge cords. (Returned to weaver at her request, May 2009).

MBM-463. Betty Nez. Glowing handspun vegetal-dyed gold churro centers this soft blanket of traditional motifs in black and brown/grey on an immaculate white field, 42 in. x 27.5 in. $425 ($325 to weaver; $100 to general fund).

MBM-464. Betty Nez. One of the few Dine' weavers expertly carrying on the traditional two-faced weaving of all handspun churro wool in immaculate white and brown/grey, into which is woven on the other side equally immaculate white mohair, all from Betty's own flock, 28 in. x 28 in. SOLD, May 28, 2006, at Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Fiber Festival, Navajo Rug Collection Auction, sponsored by Navajo Lifeway (Dine' Be Iina, Inc.).

MBM-465. Betty Nez. Another two-faced handspun churro (dyed two shades of cheerful and buoyant strawberry pink and red), and white mohair weaving, 29 in. x 19 in. Returned to weaver at her request.

MBM-472.Betty Nez. A more tighly woven classic traditional single "fancy" saddle blanket in all handspun natural (white, grey/brown) and accents (the photo doesn't show them) of commercial deep mars/maroon red and grey-green) wool with commercial wool fringe and two large decorative corner tassels, 35.5 in. x 31 in. (without fringe), protective elements woven in. Returned to weaver at her request.

MBM-473. Betty Nez. Another "fancy" single saddle blanket woven in a checkerboard "chief's pattern" design of all handspun natural color churro and commercial wool, white, brown, red, and cobalt blue, with old-style corner tassels and protective elements woven in, 35 in. x 31 in. Returned to weaver at her request.

MBM-474. Betty Nez. Another of her traditional saddle blankets, soft, all handspun natural and vegetal-fyed churro, in a glowing "Crystal" design with vegetation and water motifs, 29 in. x 25 in. Returned to weaver at her request.

MBM-475. Betty Nez. Last of these five newly arrived weavings is this old-style double saddle blanket, soft and thick, on a field of immmaculate white all handspun natural churro, into which are woven traditional queue "hourglass"/"butterfly" motifs in warm vegetal-dyed gold and natural grey/brown churro. 62. in. x 29 in. $490 ($390 to weaver; $100 to general fund).

Any of Betty Nez's saddle blankets would be at home on the floor, near your bed to warm your feet, on a couch or the back of a chair, on the wall, or on a horse, who would be very pleased with such a wonderful, soft and sturdy blanket under its saddle.

MBM-471. Betty Nez. Unusual asymmetrical "Tree of Life" weaving, in all handspun natural, vegetal, and some commercial dyed churro from her own sheep. The photo doesn't begin to do justice to the soft feel and imaginative, subtle color imagery and designs on an immaculate white field, in Betty's characteristic thick "saddle blanket" yarn style. Two birdhouses hang from tree limbs, plant forms are in the lower corners and clouds in the upper corners, and the multicolored bird flying between the clouds has a worm in its mouth; weaver's opening, 43 in. x 26.5 in, SOLD at the Cultural Survival winter bazaar, Dec. 3-4, 2005.

MBM-460. Betty Nez. On an immaculate natural handspun churro white ground, Betty has woven in the traditional "hourglass" designs in natural handspun brown/grey churro, 32.5 in. x 32 in., a soft single saddle blanket. SOLD.

MBM-415. Betty Nez has woven many of these thick, cloud-soft traditional blankets from the handspun wool of her fine churro flock. This blanket is 36 in. x 28 in., handspun natural and vegetal-dyed churro wool (two shades of wild carrot, Navajo tea, and a deep moss green), with one band of commercial-dyed red. The design is of a series of interlocking clouds that seem to float in a sky moving from dawn to sunset. This weaving was on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition that opened Oct. 23, 2004, "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." SOLD at the Arizona State Museum, June 2005.

MBM-416. Betty Nez, second of two glowing soft blankets of handspun churro wool from her own flock, 42 in. x 25 in., natural and vegetal-dyred, with two bands of commercial wool, with cloud / vegetation motifs. SOLD

MBM-417. Betty Nez. If you ever want to sink your feet or rest your whole body on softness and strength, try lying on one of Betty Nez's two-faced tufted blankets. Immaculate white mohair is woven on one side, lock by lock, into a pure white natural churro blanket on the other. The luxurious softness and texture of this blanket cannot be captured in a photograph... 43 in. x 33.5 in. SOLD at Cultural Survival Summer Bazaar, Tiverton Four Corners, RI, 8/6/05.

MBM-443. Betty Nez. Two views of an all-handspun churro traditional design runner with vegetation motifs, 45 in. x 16 in., in all natural black, white, grey/brown, warm medium brown, light red mesa, and a deep vegetal dye green (from juniper needles), with commercial yellow wool edge cords. This runner would be ideal wherever a long and narrow weaving might be needed, and is sturdy and strong enough to go on the floor as well as anywhere else. SOLD.

MBM-444. Lorraine Yazzie, a relative of Betty Nez. Impeccably woven at 24 wefts per inch, this is one of the finest raised outlines we have offered for sale, 40 in. x 26 in. The raised outline (created by doubling the wefts) was developed in this westernmost region of Dine' Bike'yah (Navajoland). The two sides are each different, with the image above showing the more intense side where the wefts have been doubled, and the side (below), the softer effect. The raised outlines evoke the falling gentle female rain that nourishes the earth... SOLD
MBM-444, side two. This raised outline is an intricate double Two Grey Hills pattern, with the four sacred mountains in the four corners, with elaborated four directions motifs with cloud/mesa images on the sides, joined mandala-like, in the center. Very finely and evenly woven light blanket weight, in high-quality commercial wool of deep maroon, white, black, taupe/tan, turquoise, salmon, cobalt blue, and medium/dark grey, with a double reverse "squashblossom" border. A truly exquisite weaving. SOLD.

MBM-380. Betty Nez. Natural handspun churro wool (from her own flock) "queue" designs of subtle greys and warm browns in this classic, old-style blanket, commercial wool field of light grey/tan, handspun churro grey borders. 37 in. x 25 in.. SOLD.

MBM-381. Betty Nez. A soft and thick blanket in a rare combination of 100% natural handspun and vegetal-dyed churro wool from her own flock. Vegetal dyes include wild carrot, Navajo tea, and a band of rich, warm brick-red, 37 in. x 23.5 in. SOLD at Cultural Survival Summer Bazaar, Tiverton Four Corners, RI, July 31-August 1, 2004.

MBM-162. Not many weavers make these wonderful two-sided weavings of soft-as-silk long tufted mohair on one side, woven into a thick, soft, white natural Churro wool blanket on the other side, and rarely this large. Entirely hand-washed, hand-carded, and handwoven, this marvelous, cloud-soft and immaculate weaving would be a joy to wake up to, next to your bed on cold winter mornings or any morning. 46 in. x 32 in. $800 ($600 to the weaver; $200 to general fund).

Here are two more views of both sides of this mohair and churro wool weaving:

MBM-162. Betty Nez, showing both the mohair and churro wool sides of the weaving, 46 in. x 32 in.


Photo ©by Betty Nez, ©April 2002.

Shelby Nez, 8-year-old granddaughter of Betty Nez, weaving a two-sided churro and mohair rug at her grandmother's home.

Churro ram, ewes, and new lambs, spring 2002. (Photo ©by Betty Nez, April 2002)

MBM-362. "Story Rug," Betty Nez. This large, soft, thick, all handspun natural, vegetal (wild carrot, gold), and aniline-dyed (red, blue) churro weaving, 62 in. x 33.5 in., came from Betty with this story: "I started with the zigzag at the bottom, which are my kids and grandkids, growing up, doing okay. Then I wove the other side--a raised outline (at the upper part), because I haven't done one for a long time. That part is for good thinking. The dark triangles on the side with the red sharp edges--that's the JUA/BIA fence that divides the land (HPL and NPL). The blue and white lines near the center are the way I feel all blank sometimes when I wake up in the morning, and the other parts are when I feel like you're in a box or there's a closed door..." . [SOLD

Some details: middleof the bottom

MBM-196. Betty Nez is a grandmother from the Coal Mine Mesa community who works full time and also raises her churro sheep and mohair goats, from which she spins natural and thick yarn for her extraordinarily soft and vivid saddle blanket style weavings. This is a classic "empty field" double saddle with a meandering fret border, in black, white, and two shades of natural multicolored churro, 61 in. x 31-1/2 in. SOLD.

Betty Nez and her husband Bennie, July 2002, standing in front of her loom on which one of here classic soft saddle blankets is being woven. On the left are balls of natural colored churro handspun yarn and dried wild carrot and Navajo tea plants for vegetal dyes. The wild carrot is a warm gold-orange and the Navajo tea dyes a wonderful warm mauve-tan. Wild carrot is sold, and the drought has made it extremely difficult to find. New yarn and some Navajo tea are for sale on our wool for sale page.

MBM-294. Betty Nez. Dramatic and soft, thickly woven saddle blanket, all handspun in natural white, natural deep brown, a wonderful vegetal dye dark moss green (which totally eluded the camera & scanner), on a rich gold-orange field of vegetal dye wild carrot, 40.5 in. x 37 in. SOLD in June at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Santa Fe, NM.

MBM-294 on loom at Betty Nez's home; handspun churro wool in foreground and dried wild carrot (which was used for the gold-orange).

MBM-295. Betty Nez. A stark and powerful all handspun Klagetoh/Ganado design and a prayer for rain, with four pairs of lightning/cloud streaks in the four corners, 50 in. x 27.75 in., in handspun black, dark grey, deep red, and several shades of natural whites. This weaving was on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition, opening Oct. 23, 2004: "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." SOLD at exhibit opening, 10/23/04.

MBM-210. Betty Nez. Third "empty field" classic traditional saddle blanket, soft and thick, 47 in. x 34 in., all handspun natural churro, dark brown, natural, and grey/brown. Ideal as a floor rug, wall hanging, or working saddle blanket. Someone who saw this weaving at Drumlin Farm, in Lincoln, Mass., suggested that it would make an ideal Yoga mat--its softness and strength being wonderful for exercise and meditation. SOLD

MBM-344. Betty John of Shonto wove this fancy single saddle blanket about 10 years ago (1993). It's a brilliant eye-dazzler 31 in. x 32.5 in. with a 4 in. fringe on the bottom, in dark brown, orange, deep purple, green, red, rust, and medium brown. This weaving was on sale at the Arizona State Museum, Tucson, in the "Native Goods" Museum Shop, in conjunction with the special exhibition that opened Oct. 23, "Navajo Weaving at the Arizona State Museum: 19th Century Blankets / 20th Century Rugs / 21st Century Views." (SOLD in Tucson, June 2005).

Sheryl Nez
MBM-418. Sheryl Nez has woven an elegant and buoyant Two Grey Hills design in black, white, dark grey, light grey, and dark red, 23 in. x 19 in. SOLD at Cultural Survival winter bazaar, Dec. 4-5, 2004.

MBM-343. Sheryl Nez, a niece of Betty Nez. Second of two "practice" weavings, this is also of entirely handspun natural color white and bright dyed red churro, single saddle blanket, 28 in. x 29 in. An experienced weaver would get at least $300 for a handspun churro single saddle blanket. SOLD.


Go to Black Mesa Weaver Rachel Bennett


Write to: Black Mesa Weavers P.O. Box 95204, Newton, MA 02495
or email to: carol@migrations.com to place an order, or for more information.

Copyright © 1998 -2010 Carol Snyder Halberstadt, Black Mesa Weavers for Life and Land., Inc. All rights reserved.

Return to Migrations home page.