If you were going to buy a rug, you’d go to a department store or a rug store, right? That’s what I’d do, too. Makes sense. Not Nona and Papa and our friends, Robert and Carolyn. (We were camping with them. We’re in a tent. They have a modest size RV.) No, those 4 got a Navajo guide, Don, and he took us to see his aunt who lives in Canyon de Chelly. She makes rugs. Beautiful rugs.
She is amazing! She raises her own sheep to produce the wool. She shears the sheep. She cards their wool. She cultivates special plants to make dyes to color the wool. She spins the wool into yarn. Then she puts the yarns on her loom. Yarns going in one direction are the warp and in another direction the woof. After all that loving labor, she starts to weave what will become a handmade Navajo rug.
She said her designs are based on traditional Navajo designs, but she creates her own designs. Imagine how smart and talented you have to be to create a complicated design and then weave it into a rug. Also, just imagine too that someone — or maybe several someones — took the time and interest to nurture her talent and to teach her how to do all those different things.
Remember that I said we went to a canyon to buy rugs? Here’s where we went.
Robert and Carolyn got one rug, and we got the other. I worried that our footsteps would get dirty marks all over our rug, but Nona explained away my worry. She said that our Navajo rug is a work of art, and we would display it on our wall at home so that no one would ever step on it but many eyes would fall on it.
I’m your friend.
*New reader? Get oriented below.
- You may be asking yourself, “Who is Solbit?” Solbit is a fictional character, but she is a real plastic dinosaur, sent to us unsolicited in a package we ordered from Photojojo. So, she’s a plastic jurassic. Solbit is short for the four names given her by our grandchildren: Sparkle, Orangie, Lulu, Breakit. We tend to use her given names for when she’s been naughty. Thank you for visiting Tales of a Plastic Jurassic. Solbit likes company and hopes you’ll come back.
- You can learn more about Solbit at her About page and in the earlier posts, “Solbit: How I Got My Name” and “Solbit: How I Got to Travel.”