Master Weaver: Elsie M. Bia


Elsie Bia

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Born: August 25, 1951
“Big Water Clan” for “Tangle People Clan” My Grandpa Clan is “Edgewater Clan, and my Naali Clan is “Bitterwater Clan) 

Awards: 3 Best of Category Awards; 6- 1st Place Ribbons; 2 – Artist Awards and many smaller awards. 

Elsie, “I had no training for weaving, it was given to me from above.  I also learn 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 grandmom helped me learn to weave. 

Elsie has famous relatives that also weave; her cousin- sister, Cara Yazzie and Cousins Helen Bia, Irene and Lucy Begay.  

Elsie, “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 learn 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.  Yup.  I watch my Grandma, Mom weave,  I got it from dem….  We got our wool from the sheeps.  We use 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.      Thank you, Elsie Bia 

p.s. I even raise my kids with my rug weaving. 

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