9. The Gift of Spider Woman – Jerry Freund

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Thursdays, March 23 and 30, 9 to 11 AM. In Navajo mythology, Spider Woman is the helper and constant protector of humans, as well as the wisdom keeper. She has taught her people the art of weaving. In two presentations, Jerry will explain her influence on early Navajo weavers, how early blankets were worn, and will show several examples that date back to the 1870s. The evolution of Navajo rugs for commercial sale began in the early 1900s through regional trading posts in northern Arizona and New Mexico. Traders at local posts fostered particular designs, and provided dyes and yarns to create distinctive and recognizable styles. Slides and select samples will be shown, with an optional third session at the Medicine Man Gallery, where Navajo weavings are on display and for sale.

Jerry Freund grew up in Dodge City, Kansas, and as a boy, enjoyed hunting for Plains Indian artifacts. Over a lifetime he has studied Navajo and Plains Indian cultures and has become a well known expert on Navajo weavings. For the last twenty years he has been employed at the Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, and enjoys sharing his enthusiasm and appreciation for the skillful artistry of Navajo weavers.