Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today

Spider Woman's ChildrenBy Lynda Teller Pete & Barbara Teller Ornelas
Photography by Joe Coca
Paperback | 144 Pages
ISBN: 9780999051757

Over twenty profiles representing weavers from ages sixteen to eighty-eight illustrate the beautiful and complex world of contemporary Navajo life, art, and family. The authors are fifth-generation Navajo weavers who tell each weaver’s story with an authentic voice, in-depth perspective, and a treasured kinship. They deftly explore a world shaped by history and rich cultural traditions and offer an intimate view into the life of today’s Navajo weavers that will inspire and surprise.

Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas are fifth-generation Navajo weavers who have been weaving since they were young girls. Internationally acclaimed for their fine tapestry weaving, their lives and their work have been featured in many publications and have been the subject of the Craft in America television program.  Together, they teach Navajo weaving workshops at museums, galleries, and guilds, throughout the world, valuing the opportunity to serve as ambassadors for their Navajo culture and traditions.

Joe CocaJoe Coca has maintained a studio in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the past thirty-five years, but his work has taken him to cities and rural areas of five continents. He has photographed people from all walks of life, handcrafted textiles and other artisan goods. His photography has been featured in over fifty books, earning multiple awards.



At last, an exquisite book conceived and written by expert Diné weavers who explore “the breadth and complexity of who we are!” The Teller sisters—Lynda and Barbara—describe seven generations of weavers in their extended family from Two Grey Hills, New Mexico. They also portray other weavers—young and old, female and male, rural and urban, traditional and modern—who “influence, inspire, and educate” as they face challenges and meet remarkable success across the Navajo Nation. The authors’ richly detailed profiles honor their elders and Spider Woman and validate a vital future for Navajo weaving.
Ann Lane Hedlund, retired director, The Gloria F. Ross Center for Tapestry Studies, Arizona State Museum, Tucson

The textiles of Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas are nothing short of extraordinary. Their artwork ranks amongst the best being produced in the United States today, and the Heard Museum is honored to be associated with these very gifted artists. Spider Woman’s Children is a thoughtful and heartfelt book that will serve to educate and excite people about the ongoing tradition of Navajo weaving, and no one is more qualified to write on the subject than Barbara and Lynda.
David M. Roche, Director and CEO, Heard Museum

If you like Navajo textiles, you’ll love this book. It puts human faces and stories behind a wonderfully complex art form in which the artists were kept anonymous for far too long.
Steve Nash PhD, Department Chair and Director of Archaeology, Denver Museum of Science and Nature

This is the book I have been wishing someone would write. Interviews with weavers and their families form a moving statement of the place that weaving has at the heart of those families, reaching back into past generations and looking forward to the ways that new generations will shape it.
Ann Marshall PhD, Director of Research, Heard Museum

This is a gentle but persuasive story… I found myself smiling again and again as the authors shared their family with its goodness and foibles. In the end, readers will find they have taken a journey across and through the broad landscapes of Navajo lands, stopping along the way to meet family and remember those who have passed but continue through their remembered lives to teach about weaving and its extraordinary powers. When you are finished reading the finely wrought prose and studying the beautiful photography you too will know that Navajo weaving is alive and well in the 21st century.
Bruce Bernstein PhD, Executive Director, Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico


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