Nan­abah Aragon

Native American Art - - PATH TO MARKET -

(Navajo)

More than three decades ago, Navajo weaver Nan­abah Aragon first be­gan par­tic­i­pat­ing in Santa Fe In­dian Mar­ket. An award-win­ning artist, Aragon has shown her pieces in markets and ex­hi­bi­tions around the coun­try. She also has been in­vited to lead demon­stra­tions and has even recorded videos about Navajo weav­ing, as she en­joys teach­ing and shar­ing her craft with oth­ers.

As a child, Aragon was al­ways in­ter­ested in weav­ing and be­gan learn­ing the tech­niques at age 7. She be­gan by shear­ing sheep, clean­ing the wool us­ing the same meth­ods as her mother and dye­ing some of it to rich reds and blacks. The process was some­thing she thrived upon, ex­plain­ing, “It was like my toy, some­thing to play with.”

When view­ing her art­work, peo­ple will of­ten ask Aragon how she knows her de­signs and if they are writ­ten down. She re­sponds by telling them that her mother told her sto­ries grow­ing up about the Spi­der Woman, Chang­ing Woman and Mother Earth. “The Chang­ing Woman gave birth to twins, but their names weren’t writ­ten down the way we do to­day, but their names were the shape of who they are,” she says. “That’s what my mom told me. Those are the de­signs you had to know.” Even when Aragon di­verged to do her own de­signs, she says the names would still come through in her weav­ings.

“My weav­ing means so much to me; it’s part of my life,” Aragon says. “It makes me happy to do the weav­ing and to show my art to peo­ple around the world that come to see the shows.”

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