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Cara Gorman

Dine (Navajo)

 Spider Rock stands with awesome dignity and beauty over 800 feet high in Arizona's colorful Canyon de Chelly National Park (pronounced da Shay). 

Windblown sand swirled and compressed with time created the spectacular red sandstone monolith. Long ago, the Dine (Navajo) Indian tribe named it Spider Rock.

Because she preserved their people, Dine established Spider Woman among their most important and honored Deities. Spider Woman possessed supernatural power at the time of creation, when Dine emerged from the third world into this fourth world.


She chose the top of Spider Rock for her home. It was Spider Woman who taught Dine ancestors of long ago the art of weaving upon a loom. She told them, "My husband, Spider Man, constructed the weaving loom making the cross poles of sky and earth cords to support the structure; the warp sticks of sun rays, lengthwise to cross the woof; the heads of rock crystal and sheet lightning, to maintain original condition of fibers. For the batten, he chose a sun halo to seal joints, and for the comb he chose a white shell to clean strands in a combing manner." Through many generations, the Dine have always been accomplished weavers.

Continuing on in that weaving tradition are the Spider Rock Girls, descended from Dine matriarch Rose Yazzie. Rose has been weaving for over 60 years. She taught all of her daughters how to weave and two of them, Cara Gorman and Emily Malone still earn all or part of their income from weaving. In additions, there is a third generation of weavers that is carrying on the tradition, becoming master weavers themselves. Cara’s daughters Harriet and Carrie weave, as well as Emily’s daughters LaVera, Larissa and Laramie Blake.

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