Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA) is pleased to bring two Navajo rug events to Moab on September 9th and 10th. This is a rare opportunity for you to see how rugs are created, meet the weavers and maybe even purchase a beautiful handmade rug for your home!
If you have ever wondered how a Navajo rug is made, don’t miss the demonstration by Navajo weaver Anita Hathale. She will be working at her loom at the Arches Visitor Center on Friday, Sept. 9th, from 10am to 3pm, and Saturday, Sept 10th, from 9am to 12pm.
On Saturday, September 10th, CNHA is holding its first annual Navajo Rug auction at the Grand Center, (182 North 500 West). To celebrate this event, CNHA has commissioned the creation of a special pictorial rug of Delicate Arch. Navajo weaver Marlowe Katoney has woven an amazing work of art that will be offered at the auction. Come during the preview (from 10am to 12pm) so you can see and examine this one-of-a-kind weaving and hundreds of other beautiful rugs that will be up for auction. Then, grab a bidding paddle and a seat and join in the auction that begins at 1pm.
More about the Navajo weavers
Anita’s mastery of weaving techniques comes from lifetime spent learning andpracticing the art of weaving handed down through the maternal side of her family, then from mother to daughter.
Growing up on a remote part of the Utah Navajo reservation, Anita found beauty in the barren expanses of windswept sandstone and desert brush of her homeland. As a child she helped tend sheep; as a young girl she learned to shear the sheep, wash the wool, dye it with natural plant dyes, and card and spin it into yarn.
At age twelve, her mother Dinah felt Anita was ready to learn how to weave the traditional Navajo rugs. When she married she found a husband who could build her a rug stand, and who was supportive of her need to sit at her loom.
Anita now weaves up to 12 hours a day, and loves her work. Her art has evolved from creating traditional patterns to designing her own original motifs. Anita recently finished a “Hale-Bopp” rug, inspired by the vivid comet. It is on display at the Museum of Northern Arizona. “I love to weave,” Anita says, “when I look at my finished rugs, I think ‘Wow, I did that’. I feel euphoric.”
Although Anita now buys her yarn from the store, she puts it through a water process and spins it tighter before using it. As proficient as she is, it still takes her up to a full day to weave a mere two inches on a four foot wide rug, and up to a month to make a rug four by five feet in size.
No wonder Anita feels euphoric when she sees her finished product. She has every right to be elated with her creations - the fruit of her loom.
Marlowe Katoney grew up in Winslow, Arizona and attended the University of Arizona, majoring in Fine Arts (two-dimensional design) with an emphasis in painting.
Marlowe learned to weave in 2009 after a lot of encouragement from his maternal grandmother and other relatives. He says, “It was important for me to learn to weave because I realized that no one else on my maternal side of the family had learned to weave. I take weaving very seriously as an art form and apply my skill set as a trained artist to the loom. Art is one of the singular components in my life that have its roots deep within my upbringing”.
His training as an artist is very evident in the Delicate Arch rug, from the abstraction of the arch and surrounding landscape, to the incorporation of Native American designs, and his painterly choice of colors.
Marlowe’s painting received an honorable mention at the Gallup Ceremonial in 1994. In 2005, he took second place at the Museum of Northern Arizona in the painting division. Marlowe has exhibited in the Mesa Museum of Contemporary Art, the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Tucson, and has works in private collections.
Discover the beauty and artistry of Navajo weaving right here in Moab at CNHA’s upcoming events! See Anita Hathale’s weaving demonstration at Arches Visitor Center, Friday, Sept. 9th, from 10am to 3pm, and Saturday, Sept 10th, from 9am to 12pm. And join us for CNHA’s first annual Navajo rug auction Saturday, September 10th, at the Grand Center in Moab. Appraisals 9 am-noon, Preview 10 am-noon, Auction at 1 pm. For more information, call CNHA at 1-800-840-8978 x 10.