Internationally acclaimed Navajo weaver, Sarah Natani, of Table Mesa, NM, taught a class
in Ponca City, OK, from June 7-11, 2004. The class was sponsored by Tres Hermanas Wool Works. The class was held at the Ponca
City Art Center which is located in the historic Soldani Mansion.
The ten students were very talented and quickly picked up many of the techniques of Navajo
weaving. Most of them were new to Navajo weaving and several had no prior weaving experience at all. Sarah was very pleased
with them, and was quoted as saying so in the nice article that Native American Times did on the class.
The class did some dyeing as well, using pokeberries (from last year, kept frozen over the
winter), tansy, and marigold (also from last year). Head Country Bar-B-Que loaned the use of a very nice two burner propane
stoves which worked very well for the project. The colors came out quite well, and everyone was pleased with the experiments.
By the end of the class almost all the students were wearing the little spider pins that
Sarah makes and sells, and nearly all of them were more than half done with their weaving.
The class generously donated towards the gift that Tres Hermanas Wool Works had ordered
from noted Ponca Nation beader, Julia Pickett. She made and beaded a pair of moccasins and a tulip bag out of matched doeskin.
A picture of the presentation was published in the local paper, which has been very generous in its coverage of this event,
as well as in Native American Times.
After the class was done on Friday, Gloria drove Sarah out to the Osage to the Nature Conservancy's
Tall Grass Prairie Preserve which contains 38,000 acres of virgin prairie so that she could see the free-ranging bison herd.
There were lots of babies, which are very cute, and they were able to get quite close to the herds so that Sarah could get
many pictures of the buffalo.
Many kudos go to those who worked behind the scenes, particularly to Alicia Wayland (dubbed
"Little Cricket Woman" by Julia), for her amazing support and work during the class. It literally would not have been possible
to run this class without her. She gave generously of her time and effort, and was unfailingly cheerful and hardworking. The
cake she baked for the presentation was just marvelous.
Patricia Paterson 'womanned' the phones and handled many minor (and a couple of major) crises
with grace and wit. Gloria's sister, Nora Sekine, (who puts the 'Tres' in Tres Hermanas - and is a fantastic beader in her
own right), and their dad, Arliss Moses, also a rate a big thanks for their generous help in organizing the Sunday evening
dinner and help throughout the week.