Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Spider Woman

Spiders of arid New Mexico and Arizona

Arachne shows her lovely form again.

I attended a lecture tonight given by Barbara Tyner, an archaeologist and an art historian specializing in Navajo weaving and culture. She reminded me that the universe was indeed woven by spider woman. She showed some photographs of early Pueblo grass weaving and a historical perspective on weaving covering the nineteen cultures of the area.

I always feel dizzy and upset when faced with the oppression and near annihilation of people who were placed in concentration camps for years and made to travel far from home without resources as Navajo were in the "Long March".

I always have questions about what it means when academics are talking about pre and post contact. Cultures like the Navajo have always been in contact with others. What do they consider in their current contact with people like the Dali Lama who is convinced they originated in Tibet because of shared practise like sand painting, origin stories and weaving techniques.

I am happy that the spider woman created the universe and that she keeps rebuilding her web.
I am happy when extreme experience is used to create beauty and harmony and that flexibility and transformation allow people to continue to thrive despite racism and external control.

The spider woman just weaves and spins away.

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