Navajo Rug Weaving


Registration Fee: $300 + $62 material fee
3-day workshop: June 1-3, 10am to 5pm
Location: Harbourfront Centre 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto ON M5J 2G8, Miss Lou’s Room

See description below for workshop outline and facilitator bio

For Further Information: Heather Haynes


Availability: 8 in stock

SKU: ifwto18-navajoweaving Category:

Workshop registration fees go directly to your facilitators fee, travel and accommodations; your materials, equipment and supplies; venue fees and general administration.

Workshop Materials Provided by Participants:

  • Students may wish to bring a seat cushion.

Students will have the opportunity to learn the art of weaving from Master Navajo Weaver, Barbara Teller Ornelas, originally from Two Grey Hills and Newcomb, New Mexico, and her sister Lynda Teller Pete. While instructing and demonstrating, Barbara and Lynda will share their family’s personal weaving stories and experiences, allowing participants a chance to view the world of Navajo weaving and share Knowledge of regional Navajo weaving styles. According to Navajo oral tradition two holy people, Spider Woman and Spider Man, introduced weaving to the Navajo. Spider Man constructed the first loom, which was composed of sunshine, lightning, and rain; and Spider Woman taught the people how to weave on it. Spider Woman was discovered by the Holy Twins, the culture heroes of the Navajo Creation Story, in a small opening in the earth surrounded by an array of beautiful weavings. Entering her dwelling, the Holy Twins descended a ladder made of yarn, whereupon Spider
Woman offered them knowledge of the world of weaving.

INCLUDED MATERIALS, SUPPLIES & DIRECTION: Students will learn the traditional method of Navajo weaving and will begin weaving on Day 1 with a pre-warped, on an upright Navajo loom. The majority of class will be spent designing and learning how to weave a 6.5” wide  x 8.5” high rug.


Barbara Teller Ornelas is best known for her Navajo tapestry weavings and is a Master Navajo weaver, (120 – 126 weft threads per inch). She has set several records with her weavings: she has won Best of Show at the Santa Fe Indian Market twice; she set a new record in 1987 by selling a weaving for $60,000 that she and her
sister Rosann Lee made; and she wove the largest tapestry-style Navajo weaving on record. Barbara is a fifth-generation weaver who was raised near Two Grey Hills on the Navajo Reservation, where her father was a trader. She has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week, Americana and Native Peoples magazines,
as well as many books. She has won dozens of awards, and has demonstrated and lectured at many museums and institutions around the world. She recently participated in a cultural exchange with Peruvian weavers at the
request of the US State Department and has traveled to Uzbekistan and Krynkistan as a Navajo cultural ambassador.

Lynda Teller Pete began weaving at age 6 and won her first major award at age 12 at the Gallup’s Intertribal Ceremonial in New Mexico. She has gone on to win many awards for her weaving, including Best of Classification for Textiles at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Market. Lynda collaborates with museums, schools and art venues in Colorado and around the country to teach about Navajo weaving and lecturing about the history of weaving. She traveled to Peru with Barbara to present to a global audience about Navajo weaving in November 2017.  Lynda has co-authored a book, Navajo Textiles, Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2017.  She is currently working on a book with Thrums Publishing on Navajo weavers talking to Navajo weavers.  She and Barbara have interviewed a cross section of weavers and this book is highly anticipated because it’s a book entirely written by Navajos.  She is also known as an accomplished beadwork artist and has won many awards for this work.