Programs & Events

Sat Mar 11, 2023
2:00 - 4:00 pm

Indian Market Lecture Series

Navajo textile artists at Santa Fe's Indian Market

Please join us for a talk with Navajo textile artists Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Jean Teller Ornelas, who will share their stories and experiences of the Navajo weaving tradition and Santa Fe’s annual Indian Market. 

Lecture is Free WITH Admission.

Meet the speakers:

Navajo tapestry weaver Lynda Teller Pete was born into the Tábąąhá (Water Edge Clan) and born for the Tó’aheedlíinii (Two Waters Flow Together Clan).  Originally from the Two Grey Hills, Newcomb, NM area of the Navajo Nation.  She lives in Denver with her husband Belvin Pete. Weaving is a legacy in the Teller family. For over seven generations, her family has produced award-winning rugs in the traditional Two Grey Hills regional style. Along with her weaving, Lynda is collaborating with fiber art centers, museums, universities, fiber guilds and other art venues to educate the public about Navajo history and the preservation of Navajo weaving traditions. Lynda and her sister Barbara wrote Spider Woman’s Children, Navajo Weavers Today in 2018. This book is the first book written about Navajo weavers by Navajo weavers since the time of Spanish and colonial contacts. Their second book is How to weave a Navajo rug and other lessons from Spider Woman in 2020. Lynda has also collaborated with three authors on the book, Navajo Textiles: The Crane Collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science in 2016. Lynda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice in Public Programs from Arizona State University. She is also a 2022-2023 Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellow and has been elected as Board Director by the Textile Society of America for 2020-2025.

Barbara Jean Teller Ornelas is a fifth-generation Master Navajo Weaver and culture bearer, raised near the famed Two Grey Hills Trading Post on the Navajo Nation. Her father, Sam Teller (1918–2000), was a Navajo trader for thirty-two years, and her mother, Ruth Teller (1928–2014), was a weaver, gardener, quilter, and photographer. When Teller Ornelas was ten, her paternal grandmother dreamed that she would become a great weaver who shared their traditions around the world. Fifty-six years later, Teller Ornelas has not only honed her artistry as a Two Grey Hills weaver but shared it with audiences internationally in the form of workshops, lectures, and exhibitions. For Teller Ornelas, weaving is a living thing, she uses her weavings to tell stories—a legacy passed down by her great-grandfather, a Keeper of Stories who was a prisoner of war at Bosque Redondo after the U.S. military forcibly relocated the Navajo people in 1863. Teller Ornelas is herself a survivor of two U.S. government residential schools—institutions which aimed to eradicate Navajo culture. In the face of this, she has dedicated her life to preserving and innovating Navajo weaving. Her designs reference both her matrilineal traditions and lived experience. As a teacher, she has shared her knowledge with students from Arizona to Peru, to Uzbekistan, to Kyrgyzstan, building solidarity with other indigenous peoples. Today, her mission is to connect Navajo people in her own cultural ecosystem with their heritage by passing on this crucial ancestral knowledge and nurturing new generations of Navajo weavers.