there is a woman who lives in the sky

by woodshed

i’ve been shying away from indigenous weaving…
not because i don’t i find it unbelievably touching or inspiring.
maybe it’s because i’ve been trying to stay focused on a few inspirations
and it’s also probably because i’m very reactionary these days when it comes to appropriating cultures that aren’t mine…
it’s alot easier for me to connect to european traditions from the 20th century, as a modern american- than it is for me to connect to ancient traditions from other cultures.

hopi weaver

bauhaus weaving: pattern designed by Hans-Joachim (Hajo) Rose in 1932 on a typewriter

but a craft is a craft. and there are so many similarities no matter how you slice it.

i’ve been feeling very inspired and excited by the southwest…feeling a little homesick for my yurt in the high mountain desert country of the new mexico/colorado boarder lands…
and, i had the most wonderful cab ride recently with a man from Trinidad and Tobago- who whole heartedly encouraged me to seek out indigenous weavers…even before he knew of my current endeavors with A Little Weather!
definitely seemed like a sign.

so i want to share the navajo story of the spider woman:
Spider Woman instructed the Navajo women how to weave on a loom which Spider Man told them how to make.
The crosspoles were made of sky and earth cords,
The warp sticks of sun rays,
The heddles of rock crystals and sheet lightning.
The batten was a sun halo,
White shell made the comb.
There were four spindles:
One a stick of zigzag lightning with a whorl of cannel coal;
One a stick of flash lightning with a whorl of turquoise;
A third had a stick of sheet lightning with a whorl of abalone;
A rain streamer formed the stick of the forth, and its whorl was white shell.

Man journeys into the sky and meets Spider Woman.
It is she who makes human arteries,
And is thus considered to be a medicine woman.
Her spiritual power, as seen in her silken web,
Joins the realms of Earth and Sky.

Navajo Legend as told by Gladys A. Reichard

and a secret: if you click on the woman behind the web, you can read a really lovely article about grandmother weavers…