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Linda Nez

Biography

Nez's mother was a skilled weaver of traditional Navajo rugs. Though Linda had a strong interest in the craft, her job tending the family sheep and goats left her little time to learn. Undeterred, she built her own loom and taught herself to weave. Instead of trying to imitate the traditional designs that her mother wove, she was more strongly influenced by the weaving style of her aunt, Susie Black—according to Nez, the first Navajo rugmaker to use pictorial imagery in her rugs. Nez spent four to five months painstakingly stitching her first rug, a view of the Grand Canyon. Despite the fact that collectors prefer the traditional rugs, Nez has continued to produce pictorial designs.

Tom Patterson Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)