Independent Publishers Group Logo

Sign up today...
for featured pop culture and science reads, books for kids and teens,special offers, bestsellers, and more, in your inbox!

Select topics of interest:
Spider Woman's Children
Spider Woman's Children

Spider Woman's Children

Navajo Weavers Today


144 Pages, 10 x 10

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $34.95 (US $34.95) (CA $46.95)

Publication Date: September 2018

ISBN 9780999051757

Rights: WOR X UK & EUR

Thrums Books (Sep 2018)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $34.95


An intimate view into the life and work of Navajo weavers today

Navajo rugs set the gold standard for handwoven textiles in the U.S. Their history and value to collectors is unparalleled. But what about the people who create these treasures? You might be surprised. Spider Woman's Children is the inside story, told by two women who are both deeply embedded in their own culture, and considered among the very most skillful and artistic of Navajo weavers today. Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete are fifth-generation weavers who grew up at the fabled Two Grey Hills trading post. Their family and clan connections give them rare insight into where the craft has been and where it is going. They take you into traditional hogans, remote trading posts, reservation housing neighborhoods, and urban apartments to meet weavers who follow the paths of their ancestors, who innovate with new designs and techniques, and who uphold time-honored standards of excellence. You'll meet men who learned to weave from their grandmothers; women who weave alongside their aging moms; a young woman who incorporates contemporary images into skillful, highly collectible tapestries. You'll walk with elderly women over their sheep pastures and cornfields in search of natural dyestuffs. You'll see how well made, simple weaving tools from generations past take a place of pride in every home. And throughout, you'll see examples of the finest, most mindful weaving this rich tradition has to offer


"At last, an exquisite book conceived and written by expert Diné weavers who explore 'the breadth and complexity of who we are!' The authors' richly detailed profiles honor their elders and Spider Woman and validate a vital future for Navajo weaving." —Ann Lane Hedland, retired director, The Gloria F. Ross Center for Tapestry Studies, Arizona State Museum, Tucson

"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. Roch, 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." —Ann Marshall PhD, Director of Research, Heard Museum

"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." —Bruce Bernstein PhD, Executive Director, Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico  

"The authors recognize that all weavers have a story to tell about their weaving, and every weaving tells a story about its creator. It is these stories, told by multiple generations that are at the heart of this lively and richly-illustrated volume and make it a fascinating read." —Helene Woodhams, Librarian, Pima County Public Libraries

Author Biography

Barbara Teller Ornelas and Lynda Teller Pete are fifth generation Navajo weavers and sisters. 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. Barbara is internationally acclaimed for her fine tapestry weaving, and she has curated national and international exhibitions. She has been artist in Residence at the Heard Museum and the British Museum in London and has served as an ambassador for Navajo weaving, culture, and tradition, participating in arts exchange programs in Peru, England, Uzbekistan, and beyond. Lynda won her first prize in weaving at age 12, and continued weaving while she received her degree in Criminal Justice from Arizona State University. She worked for social services and government agencies for almost 20 years. Lynda has been a weaver full-time since 2010. She co-authored Navajo Textiles: The Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and is also a highly accomplished beadworker.