Master Weaver: Elsie M. Bia
Elsie Bia holding her Sandpainting, Spider Rock, Canyon de Chelly, 2019
Born: August 25, 1951
Clan: “Big Water Clan” for “Tangle People Clan” My Grandpa Clan is “Edgewater Clan, and my Naali Clan is Bitterwater Clan”
“I had no training for weaving, it was given to me from above. I also learned from my mom and grandma. When I was 14, I would watch my mom weave and then help her finish the rug. My Mom and Grand Mom helped me learn to weave.” Elsie has famous relatives that also weave; her cousin-sister, Cara Yazzie Gorman and Cousins Helen Bia, Irene and Lucy Begay.
“My favorite designs are Burntwater, Wide Ruin, Ganado Red and Teec Nos Pos. Weaving rugs is a Navajo tradition and it is passed down by my family, and I Love to weave. It is my only income and it helps me a lot. I enjoy doing my work. It takes lots of time, not only to weave but all of the math and counting. I just love what I do, always challenging myself with new patterns and designs. I really like taking my time to figure out what comes next in my weaving and then to see the outcome of the design. Taking my time to figure out what comes next and the outcome of the design is exciting. “
“I would like to say that I love to do rug weaving. I’m glad I learned to weave. It takes time to weave. People know me as a rug weaver. I’m proud of myself.” “I’m glad I’m still weaving, and I thank everyone that helped me. I watch my Grand Mom, Mom weave, I got it from them…. We got our wool from the sheep. We used to shave it off from the sheep, carded and dye it, spindled it and make a loom and start to weave, that’s all of weaving. Now I don’t have sheep anymore, anyway I love to weave, do my best for my buyer Steve Getzwiller. P.S. I even raise my kids with my rug weaving. “
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