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Diné Weavers: Past, Present and Future
October 30, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
A short format documentary featuring a conversation between contemporary Diné weavers.
Serving as a fundraiser for Diné bei iiná, or The Navajo Lifeway, this conversation between contemporary Navajo fiber artists, filmed by Diné filmmaker Shaun Price, is a beautifully created, educational short documentary film which will premier as part of Portland Textile Month. The Navajo Lifeway promotes a sustainable livelihood through the Navajo way of life. Traditionally, this has been sheep, wool and weaving, and whatever comes from that.
Find the contribution link below in the related resource box to support and raise funds for this important project.
This film will present a glimpse into the thoughts and practices of these incredible fiber artists as our panel shares their stories with moderator Amy Yeung of Orenda Tribe, speaking on topics such as Diné weaving history, misappropriation of Diné culture, and the future of Diné fiber arts and weaving. This information is invaluable to weavers and admires of Diné fiber arts as a learning tool, especially in this time when it is so important for people to educate themselves about BIPOC issues, art, and lifestyle. We hope to bring to light, these young Diné artists who are working to keep ancient traditions alive by showcasing and promoting their work.
During the film, and leading up to its premier, we hope to inspire you to make donations to The Navajo Lifeway and a link to do so will be available by October 1st
Information will be available through Stockpiler and Orenda Tribe’s Instagram accounts (@stockpiler and @orendatribe). Your donations will go to The Navajo Lifeway as well as the participating artists featured in this film, the Diné Filmmakers, and the production team, not only to pay for their work and time, but also as payment for the education they are providing.
We hope you will join us for the premier of this important film and help us to raise money and awareness for The Navajo Way of Life. Many thanks to Tyra Blackwater and the entire team team who have shared their culture through the creation of this film. Photos courtesy of Tyrell Tapaha.
Our panel is made up of four incredible artists and advocates including Eric Paul Riege, a weaver and fiber artist finding presence in his mind, body, and beliefs through collage, durational performance, installation, woven sculpture and wearable art. For Riege, his weavings pay homage and link him to generations of weavers in his family, and exists as living things that aid him in generating sanctuary spaces of welcome. Currently, Riege is part of a group exhibition, “Larger Than Memory,” at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, AZ, and in the year ahead, he will have solos shows at Ingham Champan Gallery in Gallup, NM and Etiquette in Santa Fe, NM.
Zefren Anderson, a multiple award winning weaver from the Northern Agency of the Navajo Nation was raised by his grandparents, who were raise by their grandparents. As a youth, he was not interested in continuing the old ways, however when he returned home to care for his elderly grandfather, he began an apprenticeship with Roy Kady, an important figure in Diné weaving. Through this apprenticeship, he learned the life of a Traditional weaver and how this work can support his people. He strives to teach as many people as possible, the things his Grandparents instilled in him about Navajo Culture. Caught in the Digital Divide, he works to change the narrative of history as more than a few pages in a textbook or display in a museums. He makes them real beyond the colonized platitudes of Navajo history, textiles and jewelry. In the upcoming Art Show season, he will debut a combination of 6 years worth of work and research in the hopes that two of his weavings, “The House of Rain, Father Sky and Mother Earth Entwines” and “The Blanket of the Great Thinker” will again win a double best of show for the Heard Indian Market and the Santa Fe Indian Market.
Nikyle Begay is a sheppard and a weaver. As a child, spring meant new born lambs and shearing, summer was full of processing wool into yarn, and the beginning of fall meant collecting plants to dye the yarn as well as marketing the grown lambs. Although weaving was done year round, most of it happened next to the cozy fireplace throughout winter. While Nikyle was never formally taught to weave, during their formative years they became their grandmother’s tail, observing how she worked the sheep, how she’d stretch the carded wool as she spun, and how she made intricate designs in her weavings. At 13, Nikyle started their own flock, and by 16 they were weaving seriously. For Nikyle #sheepislife is the culture of their people and they’ve only just begun sharing their culture and weaving with the world.
Tyrrell Tapaha is a 6th generation weaver and fiber artist originally from the Four Corners area, having learned the art form from his family’s practice of agro-pastoral living in and around the community of Goat Springs, AZ. He primarily juggles his time between working as a guide on the Grand Canyon South Rim, studying Forestry at Northern Arizona University, and working on weaving related projects out “somewhere on the trail.” Tyrrell is excited about the prospects of processing and weaving with alternative fibers such as recycled plarn (plastic yarn), hemp, and other fibrous flora of Northern Arizona. Tapaha is immensely passionate about the widespread reconnection to the Dine teaching of K’e. This fundamental teaching has provided opportunity for growth, love, and happiness in his life. He strengthens those relations through simple conversation, his weaving practice, or as an environmental advocate.
Amy Yeung, Founder of Orenda Tribe, is the daughter of a full-blooded Navajo, and her family comes from the Bisti Wilderness-Chaco Canyon region. She is deeply committed to helping Indigenous makers and artists find opportunities to create with Orenda Tribe, a community of hands working together to craft unique pieces carrying the stories of another time to you. Amy has long believedin sustainable design processes—handmade, restored and repurposed vintage, and one-of-a-kind upcycling of textiles. Orenda Tribe is built on these tenets and fueled by Amy’s desire to honor her Indigeneity, to protect her sacred lands, and to help others. Orenda Tribe is a small team of artists and makers around
the world, including Indigenous artists from Dinétah. They are lovers of old things, inspired by the energy of vintage textiles. They can feel the lives they’ve lived before they’ve arrived in their hands, and they seek to continue this life cycle. With each Orenda Tribe garment, they creatively approach the upcycling process to repurpose for the future.