Male and Female Corn Weaving by Eleanor Yazzie (#130)

Male and Female Corn Weaving by Eleanor Yazzie
Male and Female Corn Weaving by Eleanor Yazzie
Male and Female Corn Weaving by Eleanor Yazzie

Male and Female Corn Weaving by Eleanor Yazzie (#130)

Signature of Navajo Rug Weaver Eleanor Yazzie


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48" x 66"

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If there is one simple metaphor that best describes Navajo philosophy it would be corn. With this weaving, Eleanor Yazzie speaks volumes in respect to the Navajo Creation myth. The People believe they were created from corn; the white stalk represents the male and the yellow female. The roots of the plant are embedded in Mother Earth and connect the Navajo with past interactions and generations. The intertwined stalks reach toward the Sky World where deities dwell and represent the Upward Moving Way and the connectivity of men and women. The tassel represents pure sunlight and personal prayer. The black background speaks of that which is unknown to humans and the realm of the Moon, the equal and polar opposite of the Sun. The red band at the bottom of Eleanor’s weaving refers to marriage, children and family, the joining of blood and continuation of the Navajo people. This weaving was designed by graphic artist Susie Bell in 1997 and woven that same year by Eleanor Yazzie. An image of this weaving was used in the book Collecting Authentic Indian Arts and Crafts, published in 1999 by the Indian Arts and Crafts Association. It has resided in the Steve and Georgianna Simpson collection since that time.

About the artist:

Navajo Rug Weaver Eleanor Yazzie

Eleanor was born in 1963 at Keams Canyon, Arizona to Joe and Ella Benally. She has two sisters and five brothers. When visiting her grandmother on her mother's side who lived at Smoke Signal, she would watch her weave. Her grandmother, Bah Begay, especially loved weaving storm pattern rugs. Eleanor helped her grandmother who, at that time, made handspun rugs. Eleanor learned every step from shearing the sheep to washing and dyeing the wool to spinning the yarn. Because her grandmother especially loved the storm pattern weavings, this style was the first type woven by Eleanor. Her mastery of complex geometrics and diagonal lines comes from this experience in weaving the storm pattern.

See full biography | See all items by Eleanor Yazzie

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Navajo Rugs See all items in this category

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This site was last updated on September 24, 2018.

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