Master Weaver: Ellen Begay 1964-2011
Ellen was a very kind and gentle soul with an infectiously beautiful smile.
She lived her entire life with serious health issues, but always maintained a positive attitude and outlook on life.
Born for Bitter Water and Tangled up People (The Clans of her parents) She lived her entire life in the Nazlini area of the Navajo Reservation. Ellen and her family maintained the most traditional lifestyle of any of the ladies I ever worked with.
She was a gentle soul, with a bright smile and quiet spirit. She had an artist's mind and eye, in that she could look at a bleak landscape, or a summer storm, and see amazing patterns and dazzling beauty.
Ellen had the talent to take what she saw in her dreams and her head, and use her eyes and hands to create a masterpiece.
Ellen was here for far too short a time..... but how lucky we are for the gifts she had, and the treasures, and memories, she leaves behind.
....by Susan Sorg, Journalist and Friend.
We are very lucky that Gary Beaudoin, one of Ellen's biggest fans and collectors of her art, worked diligently to present her and her mother's weavings in an exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.
Ellen never repeated a rug design or duplicated one of hers or of anyone else. Each rug was a new masterpiece. Since Ellen had health problems since she was a young girl, she would weave perfection into each rug as if it may be her last. It was not uncommon for a 4 x 6 rug to require up to a year or a year and a half to compete. She and Lucy's designs defy regional style definition, they were unique.
Ellen passed at 46 years old of heart failure. She will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.
Here are but a few of our memories of Ellen..........