Hunger Monster Basket by Elsie Holiday (#462) Bill and Jean Cousins Special Award, Gallup Ceremonial 2019

Hunger Monster Basket by Elsie Holiday
Hunger Monster Basket by Elsie Holiday
Hunger Monster Basket by Elsie Holiday

Hunger Monster Basket by Elsie Holiday (#462) Bill and Jean Cousins Special Award, Gallup Ceremonial 2019

Signature of Navajo Basket Weaver Elsie Holiday


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38" x 40"

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In the myth and legend of the Navajo, the Hero Twins were born of Changing Woman and the Bearer of the Sun. It was the destiny of the Twins to cleanse the earth of the monsters that were devouring The People. With powerful weapons provided by their father and the supernatural protection of their mother, the boys went about destroying the Naaye'e' neizgha'ni'. When they were nearly done, the boys came upon several monsters they did not understand: Old Age Woman, Cold Woman, Poverty Creatures, and Hunger People. Each of these monsters convinced the Hero Twins that they were necessary to the world to maintain harmony and balance, so they were allowed to live. When Elsie Holiday wove this massive and unprecedented basket, she said that because of her outstanding weaving abilities, she has been able to fend off most of these monsters. Because Elsie and her family have never had to suffer for sustenance, she wove this special basket to share her culture and her success through focus and effort.

About the artist:

Navajo Basket Weaver Elsie Holiday

Considered one of the best Navajo basket weavers, Elsie Stone Holiday married into the famed Douglas Mesa family of weavers. Weaving baskets has become almost an addiction for her. "When I go two or three days without weaving I get anxious to get started again," she says. She weaves 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. "Sometimes I think, 'How long can this last?'", she wistfully states, but for now she is content with her art, finding immense satisfaction in creating premier quality baskets.

See full biography | See all items by Elsie Holiday

Related categories:

Navajo Baskets See all items in this category

Related legends:

Big Centipede (UP) is mentioned by Matthews in his subsidiary list of monsters that arose from the blood lost at the birth of the first monsters. Wheelwright describes the creatures as having the form of huge centipedes which, by humping themselves up in the middle, could leap a great distance to bite their victims. The name she gives seems to refer to the praying mantis. The largest could not penetrate the flint armor of Monster Slayer, who killed it and all the smaller ones except two which he bade never to harm anyone? More about this legend

Navajo Basketry

Basketry is a woman's industry, which is also pursued by the nadle (he changes), hermaphrodites, or men skilled in the arts and industries of both men and women. Basketry, however, is not classified with textile fabrics (yistl'o), but with sewing (nalkhad). It is of interest also that, while the basket is in progress, the sewer is untouched and avoided by the members of her family?

More about this legend

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This site was last updated on September 27, 2020.

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