We have received a lot of credit for being the traders who developed the Burnham area Navajo weaving designs. That, of course, is not true. The weavers from the Burnham area, specifically the Begay and Barber families, did not need anyone to help them create these wonderful pieces.
What we did do was encourage them, support their visions and give them the opportunity to market their weavings to the rest of the world.
The oldest of the original five sisters, Anna Mae, passed away two winters ago. The other four sisters, Marie, Helen, Sandy and Alice, along with several of their daughters, some in-laws, and some cousins are continuing to create these beautiful weavings.
Sandy, Alice, and Margorie Begay
Essentially, Burnham weavings are created primarily with hand spun wool, incorporating colors and design elements from different weaving areas, along with pictorial elements.
Burnham weavings were the first "new" weaving design to emerge from the Navajo reservation since the early 1900s. Theirs is really a fascinating story about the way a new weaving style catches hold.
Bernal and Alice Begay with family
I will be giving a short talk at 5:30 pm tomorrow evening, during the First Thursday Gallery Walk, on the story of the Burnham weavers. We will show a wonderful selection of work by weavers from that area.
Laverne Barber Begay
The Art Walk runs from 5 pm - 7 pm tomorrow evening. The Burnham Weaving Show will hang through the following week.
Sandy Begay brought this weaving in last week. It is woven with all natural hand spun wool. She named it: "Hello, Two Grey Hills"
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