When it gets hot here in the summer our city museums have free family fun days that encourage families of all ages to get out of their homes and explore. This is a visit we took last year that I forgot to share with you all. When you look through the photos you will see people close together without masks on. This visit was all about an exhibit on Navajo rugs. They even had some Navajo weavers there doing demonstrations on rug weaving.
Visiting museums during the summer months has always been a tradition in our family. We still try to do this even though my kids are all grown up, we still love our summer museum visits. So many fun events happen over the summer to keep children occupied and also teach them a little history as well.
It’s just fun getting out and exploring other buildings. It is too hot to do any outside exploring though. Phoenix is pretty extreme in temps during the summer season. To keep the little ones happy and busy, there are all kinds of fun programs here. Everyone is included too, so even if you do not have it in your budget, there are monthly free events here in the city for all ages to enjoy.
I have always wanted to learn how to weave. A big Daydream of mine would be to own a farm, somewhere with woods and an ocean view, maybe a cliff sea view. Like Doc Martin. I would have all kinds of sweet little critters like goats, sheep, rabbits, some barn cats, chickens, maybe some cows….okay, I am getting ahead of myself. I would create all kinds of fun little artsy things using wool from my sheep. Then I would have a little country shop in a tiny village to sell my items in or maybe not, maybe just teach classes in the shop and we could all be artists. Just a fun little day dream. I have actually had it since I was a child.
Well, this museum visit just happen to be about a subject I have always been fascinated with. Beautiful hand woven rugs.
The artists weaving rugs that day were so fun to watch.There was a Navajo kid there, actually he was a young man, a little older then my son at the time who was 18. He told me that his grandparents taught him how to weave. A skill passed down each generation.
He also told me that they make and dye their own yarns on the reservation. What talent this kid had. His small rugs were so colorful.
There were two weavers that day.
So cheerful too. It looks like a fun craft and skill to have.
Lots of art to see at the museum.
The Navajoes used to trade for goods with these beautiful rugs they made over the years.
Some of the saddle blankets were very old from the 1800’s.
This was one of my favorites.
Another really cool one, reminds me of the petroglphys I always came across when playing out in the desert as a child. Simple little drawings and messages left to us all from long, long ago.
Maybe it’s just me…I don’t know, but I could spend a very long time here looking at all these hand made works of art.
There were so many to see.
I wonder how long it took to weave these rugs.
There weren’t a lot of small rugs, mostly the rugs were about the size of a dining room table.
This one was from 1890, artist unknown. Imagine what the artist of this saddle cover would think knowing that some day this piece he worked on would be on display in the year 2020. Now here I was staring at it. Wonder what his world was like back them. What were his tools that he used to create with. Wasn’t like he could order something online and have someone deliver those tools to him. How far and how not so far we all have come to be. We still create the same things but in different ways now.
There are always lots of activities for the little ones in the museums. Kids do not understand us old adults standing around looking at art for so long. That is when families with tiny tots take them to the creative rooms.
Table and stations are set up for children to create their own versions of the things they see in the museum.
I have even seen grandma’s getting involved with their grand babies in the children’s creative rooms.
Just fun to try our hands at weaving. So important to teach our young about the history of others and how they lived, and to encourage them to also try their hands at those crafts from long ago.
Museums are also great places to get out and mingle.
Something a little extra about sheep’s wool…
After they sheer the sheep, weavers wash the wool to remove dirt from it, then they use combs to remove twigs and seeds that may be stuck in the wool. They use a long stick with a disc called a whorl and they twist the wool into strands of yarn.
Some weavers hand dye their wool using plants, while others use dye packets to dye theirs. The younger the sheep’s wool the better it will hold the color of the dye.
I don’t think they are doing the family fun days this summer. Still have a lot of programs and events canceled here in our state of Arizona. At the time of this visit a year ago I would not realize how bad the Navajo nation would get hit with the Red Monster. So many sick and some lost their lives. I won’t go into the numbers, think you all have heard enough when it comes to numbers.My daughter’s friend from High School who is from the Navajo nation would loose his grandmother and grandfather in this year of 2020 because of the Red Monster.
Writing up this post I thought of that young Navajo man and how happy he was showing everyone his talent and gift of weaving. A skill he was so proud to share with us strangers. A skill his grandmother taught him. When he told his story about how they sheer the sheep and that his whole family gets involved , he had so much joy in his heart. It was like he was reliving that memory by sharing it with us. I hope his family is okay, what talents they passed down to him. So please keep the world in your prayers and well wishes that this Red Monster gets defeated and taken out. Too many talented, loved and beautiful people have lost their lives and this should never have happened. Always remember that part…this could have been stopped in it’s earlier stages. It could have also been controlled in it’s earlier stages as well. We all need to look out and start caring more for each other.
Hope you all like this museum visit with us. Stay safe out there and happy museum adventures to you all.
Copyright Our Little Red House 2020 © Do Not Use Photos Without Written Consent of the author