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Fannie Pete
Pig
about 1987
handspun wool with native and vegetable dyes
26 3/4 x 33 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson



Fannie Pete weaves pictorial rugs on a loom made by her mother that is set up, Navajo style, against the wall of her New Mexican hogan. For Pig, Pete used yarn spun from the wool of the family's sheep and goats and made dyes from rocks and vegetables, although she sometimes breaks with tradition and purchases yarn from local discount stores. Her imaginative and innovative pictorials also break with Navajo tradition. "It's easy to make a rug from a pattern supplied by a trader," she explains, "but what I feel I must do is make rugs from my imagination—rugs that have never been made before.