A Weaving Tradition

rain clouds build over Babak every sacred mountain evita onna automation in this great expanse of desert The Weavers chat no wonder you haven't been calling mattered what happened to you she said a real dear friend I'm always crying on her shoulder if it's not her it's Alex usually the weavers work alone today is different it's like a resting circle I would say I think you ladies are supposed to be wavy yoga covers the bear grass while lizard watches this is the study rhythm of basket-making pesky weavings tedious and it's time-consuming Weaver Margaret uh Costa works with friends Cleo for Gomez and Mildred Chico they weave with the bounty of the desert there is the devil's claw and the wild banana yucca root and the white is the new growth of the yucca plant that's ready to pick at this time and when we get them with Sun bleach em it's just like working with you leather soft leather it has a real good feeling and respect is paid for what the plants provide I just tell it that I'm not there to destroy it that I'm there to to get gather the pieces from it and put it into a beautiful basket for somebody to enjoy to decorate their homes and that it's also a financial help to me I recoil that we go around we hammer flat and it makes it easier for us to push our all through normally we jump up and we do it on the ground on the floor I have a lot of orders for the man in the maze so it seems like I'm always doing a maze the maze is symbolic for the road of life we come from the center here that's your birth and you go through life through the maze the turns that you take here are the times that you fall but you pick yourself up and you go on and then when you have fulfilled your life here here you're up here and then that comes in your break in the same market is believing 38 years and likes to work on several baskets at once and my girls they're all weavers but they claim they don't have the time to sit and weave I don't know what they're doing they don't know in addition to teaching four daughters and four grandsons she taught weaving for 13 years on the reservation when I worked with the seventh graders I noticed that the boys were the better weavers sometimes I think about those kids and to some some that I know that are weaving today and some you know they've lost it but I think to each one of them it had a very special meaning that meaning is what inspires the weavers today it's a tradition it's our culture so we can't live with it we don't want to lose it so we try to encourage the young people to tool to weave the women sit just outside the nation's new Cultural Center and museum into Pawa just south of cells Arizona it's unbelievable it is so beautiful you know it's just way out here in the middle of nowhere but yet we have something there that I guess I could say that's a tribe we put that way that you know we got something to show for our our inheritance in a laboratory inside curator Barbara Hays is cleaning Margaret and I've talked about how we feel like the the spirits like a grandmother to all the other basket it's passed down through her family from the mid-1800s Margaret has donated the antique basket to the museum we feel like somehow there was perhaps a mono or something some kind of mechanism that went through the center to crush corn or something we're not sure how that was utilized exactly it's crucial to get it just so today baskets are more decorative the museum's gift shop is a cooperative store managed by TOC a or to honor octave Community Action TOC a ensures that the weavers receive fair market value for their baskets this is the basket I made this the Turtleback the patterns to Turtleback conquered all it's an opportunity to see the work of Weaver's who are scattered throughout almost 5,000 square miles of the reservation this is the pattern I was telling you about that my grandson usually makes it's a star star like pattern the women begin to wrap up the day I'm just gonna put the trim on this basket and then it's finished all right here I'm almost there when I complete my circle I'll go back to the center then I'll rest in peace as the promise of rain builds in the swirling heat the voices still linger under the Ramada playing in the wash I was good we played that was our paper


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