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Published On: Fri, Feb 24th, 2012

Growing up in Two Grey Hills with the Blessing of Weaving

“Weaving in my family is a source of valuable knowledge and independency” says Winifred Jumbo

Weekly Edition | February 23, 2012 | By: Staff writer

Winifred Bessie Jumbo

For the Navajo, a legend credits a deity named Spider Woman who taught them how to weave. The first loom was said to be of sky and earth cords with tools of sunlight, lightning, white shell, and crystal. Young Navajo girls and even boys learn how to weave at an early age.

Winifred Bessie Jumbo, a Dine’ with four clans Naakaii Dine’é nishłi. Ta’neeszahnii báshíshchíín. Hashtł’ishnii da shicheii. Táchii’nii da shinálí. Winifred said for her, learning the Navajo language was given the gift of learning how to weave the Navajo Two Grey Hills rug at the age of five years old.

“I was raised in a small community known to most people as Two Grey Hills, NM, but to my grandmother Linda Slowboy it was known as Bisdahłitso. I will always remember the day I made my first trade of my very own rug for a pregnant Navajo-Churro sheep that gave me a set of twins, one being a 4-horned ram.” said Winifred

This Dine’ from two grey hills said this was the beginning of her life as a weaver. She explained her trade that was made with Doc McNeal, aka Hastiin dibe.

“I was very fortunate to provide for myself by purchasing supplies for school. Weaving rugs served as a teaching tool for me. The women in my life told me that a rug is not just an art form or a way to accumulate wealth. It was their teaching tool and mechanism to make me a very independent, responsible, and disciplines hard worker.” said Winifred.

Winifred went to high school at Navajo Preparatory School and went on to college at Brown University. Weaving in my family is a source of valuable knowledge and interdependency said Winifred adding Weaving can be very enjoyable because it gives you the opportunity to make anything through a creative mind.

She emphasized the glamor of her relatives selling their rugs at the Crownpoint Rug Auction on a monthly basis, which is a time for them to showcase their beautiful work. The Navajo weaver tells the story through the rug, she said it is a representation of your thought process and indicates that you will live with endless knowledge and wisdom.

Winifred said she is  happy to be a member of the community of Two Grey Hills and being a young rug weaver.”Ultimately, the process of caring for a sheep, respecting the spindle, comb, loom, warp, yarn, and designs has taught me the greatest gift of patience. I hope to see many more young women and men take the opportunity to learn how to weave.” said the talented weaver, Winifred.


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Growing up in Two Grey Hills with the Blessing of Weaving