Master Weaver: Helene S. Nez
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Born September 14, 1977
CLAN : Helene is “Where Water Meets Born for Tangle Clan. Her Nali is Comanche Warrior and her Grandparents are Bitter Water Clan.
Excerpt from the Woven Holy People Catalog, March 2015….
Helene Nez, born in 1977, learned weaving from her mother, Master Weaver Grace Nez. She started weaving when she was 19 and is now a master weaver herself. Helen said, "Sandpaintings are my favorite design. In the sandpainting, the rainbow is special to the Navajo because it represents rain. Rain washes away pain and gives us moisture for life. When I started the Arrow People it was pretty difficult, but that is one reason why I wanted to do it. I am where water meets born of Tangle clan. My nali is Comanche Warrior and my grandparents are Bitter Water."
Helene has won 6 Major Awards at the All Indian Inter-Tribal Ceremonial from 2006 to 2014. Most of her weavings take up to 2 years to make, otherwise she probably would have more honors. Her weavings have also been on exhibit in the Desert Caballeros Western Museum in Wickenburg, AZ.
Helene Started Weaving in 1996. She was taught by her Mother Grace Nez and also received some instruction in elementary school. She actually started weaving her own rugs when she was 19 years old. Helene says, “My mother has been a major influence for me.”
Helene is from a very famous and talented family of weavers, her mother, Grace Nez, and 7 sisters are all award winning and highly respected Navajo Master Weavers.
Helene says, “My favorite designs are Sandpainting and Teec Nos Pos. 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 very good about weaving and carrying on our Navajo Traditions.”
Helene is also a very 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 to someday.”