First American Art Magazine No. 21, Winter 2018/19 - Page 37

to this. Many young people are absorbed in contemporary culture characterized by materialism, globalization, and American mass media diversions. Weaving challenges this current wave by encouraging one to be mindful, patient, and disciplined. The Summer Youth Weaving Program demonstrates how art, culture, and identity interweave. Students from every background arrive at the confluence of themselves and Navajo weaving. For instance, Ethan, a sophomore in high school with athletic interests, realized how weaving can be related to his practice of wrestling; how patience and mental focus are fundamental to both these practices. Alternatively, Felicia, a high school senior, relates weaving to her training as a musician. The connection she makes is of the significant use of fingers, both in playing an instrument and repetitively putting a string between the warp. What seemed unfamiliar and remote became some- thing intimate and personal. Fortunately, these stories can be heard and viewed by way of a “digital story.” With the help of Savannah Six from MSPI, students from the weaving program created digital stories where they shared their experiences with Navajo weaving. Using the Windows Movie Maker program installed on PCs, they compiled pictures, music, and voice recording. Each student told a unique story of how learning about Navajo … The first loom had ethereal support poles made of sky and earth cords. Its warps were formed of sun rays, its heddles of rock crystal and sheet lightning, its batten of sun halo, and its comb of white shell. WINTER 2018/19 | 35