Navajo Times did a story on
Irene Begay last year. Begay is originally from Standing
Rock, N.M. She is Red Running Into the Water Clan and born
for Red Cheek People. Although she watched her mother weave
as a child, she mostly learned by sneaking in when her
mother stepped away from the loom.
“She never actually really taught me, saying, ‘This is how
you do it.’ I didn’t learn like that. She used to chase me
away,” Begay said recalling how she used to observe her
mother create rug designs.
One day she didn’t even notice I wove about an inch of her
rug, Begay said.
Begay’s tendency to observe her mother’s work didn’t stop at
weaving – she took it a step further when she caught sight
of her mother’s old sewing machine.
Begay said her mother owned an old sewing machine that
required pedaling with the feet and she remembers actually
standing on it to make it function properly as she pushed
different pieces of fabric through.
first designs she recalls creating were on the bottom of her
friend’s bellbottoms where she would cut out the bottom and
sew in native designs.
“Ever since then I’ve been weaving, sewing and crocheting,”
Lucky for us she kept on
going with her gift and now she can share her
talents with us.
If you’re in the
Farmington, New Mexico area she does have dresses
for sale at Novelty’s Q-Tee, 222 W Main St,
Farmington, NM 87401. Otherwise you’ll have to
contact her for a special order. According to the
article, it takes three to five weeks for Begay to
complete a dress order and three to five months for
a rug dress order. Her dresses can cost anywhere
from $30 to $875, the rug dresses being the most
expensive. Not only does she have women’s dresses
but she has some pretty snazzy shirts and vests for
the men too.
If you like what you
see, feel free to reach her via her Facebook page:
Traditional Authentic Native Designs by Irene Begay.