Master Weaver: Helene S. Nez
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Master Weaver: Helene Nez
September 14, 1977
From: the Shiprock Area of the Navajo Nation
CLAN: “Where Water Meets Born for Tangle” Clan and “Bitter Water” Clan, Her Nali is Comanche Warrior.
Helene is from an incredibly famous and talented family of weavers, her mother, Grace Nez, and 7 sisters are all award winning and highly respected Navajo Master Weavers. Helene learned weaving from her mother, Master Weaver Grace Nez. She started weaving when she was 19, in 1996.
Helene says, “My favorite designs are Sandpaintings and Teec Nos Pos. In the sandpainting, the rainbow is special to the Navajo because it represents rain. Rain washes away pain and gives us moisture for life. Some designs are challenging but I do enjoy working on them. The colors and designs that go into my rugs almost feel as if a part of me and I feel particularly good about weaving and carrying on our Navajo Traditions.”
Helene has won 6 Major Awards at the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial from 2006 to 2014. Most of her weavings take up to 2 years to make. Her weavings have been on exhibit in the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ.
Helene is also an exceptionally talented artist in other fields such as silverwork and drawing. Helene, “I do have ideas for designs that I would like to put into my weavings and some patterns I have not woven yet but hope too someday.”