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Germantown Sampler on a loom

KMA, Germantown Sampler on a loom, Unknown weaver

Germantown Sampler on a loom

Unknown weaver

c. 1895


Henry: The buyer probably wanted this unfinished, but as Navajo people, we are taught to finish it. But it shows the warp strings which symbolize the rain that makes things grow. Then the rod that goes into the warp cords is the lightning. The elder women tell the story: The two Twins journeyed to see who their father was and were told that the Sun was their father. On their way to visit him there was a small hole with smoke coming out and the Twins were curious where the smoke was coming from. The hole opened larger and the Twins were invited in by Spider Woman. The Twins were impressed by Spider Woman’s beautiful weavings. After that they went to see their father, the Sun. When they came back down to Earth, they arranged for their mother, Changing Woman, to meet Spider Woman. That was when weaving was introduced to the Navajo people—by Changing Woman learning to weave from Spider Woman.

Bob: The pattern woven here is a tessellation of a parallelogram. The parallelogram is used to cover the space without overlap or any gaps.