Traditional Navajo Ceremonial or wedding basket (Photo by Carol Edison, Courtesy Utah Arts Council)

Traditional Navajo Ceremonial basket or wedding basket (Photo by Carol Edison, Courtesy Utah Arts Council)

Carol Edison tells us about her work with  Navajo basket makers in Utah, including Mary Holiday Black the legendary matriarch of the basket tradition.  An ancient artform, the Black and other families have both continued and revitalized a beautiful type of basket that is both ceremonially and economically important to their community.  Carol shares how she was introduced to this art form and how she researched the contemporary revolution of basketry among the Navajo. She also tells us about a new exhibition of these baskets on show at the Natural history Museum of Utah. “Weaving a Revolution: A Celebration of Contemporary Navajo Baskets” tells the story of the revitalization of the tradition and the emergence of this contemporary movement through more than 150 baskets made in the past thirty years. The exhibition catalog can be purchased from the museum store by calling 801-587-5784.

During our conversation, Carol mentioned the publication Willow Stories: Utah Navajo Baskets, which can be purchased from the Utah Division of Arts and Museums for $8.00 + postage/handling by contact Jean Irwin at 801-533-5760.

Agnes Black Gray with her story basket titled Separation of the Sexes (Photo by Carol Edison, Courtesy Utah Arts Council)

Agnes Black Gray with her story basket titled “Separation of the Sexes” (Photo by Carol Edison, Courtesy Utah Arts Council)

 

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