FEBRUARY 18, 1914


Born near the Toadlena-Newcomb area in New Mexico, she and her sister, Yazzie, herded sheep and cattle for their family.  Before she was 13, Clara and her sister were interested in weaving.  Yazzie knew how to weave and taught Clara, but they wove in secret because her mother wanted Clara to learn process first.  “I would watch my mom weave and she’d talk to me about it-the way she’d put her design in.” Clara said that her rug designs were similar to her older sister’s and her mother’s. The family wove the Two Grey Hills patterns and Clara became instrumental in the development of the Toadlena/Two Grey Hills style rug.  “My designs come from my head, and I only do designs that come from my head.”  Clara said, “when you weave, everything comes back to you and you feel fresh again.”  In 2004, Clara won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts.  In 2006, she was awarded the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.  Clara died July 31, 2010.

Source:  “Clara Sherman: Navajo Weaving,” Convocations: Indian Arts Research Center.  Retrieved 12/21/2019, http://www.sarweb.org/iarc/convocations/individuals/weaving/sherman.htm
Photo:  Claude Stephenson, 2007.  Public domain.  This image is a work of an employee of the State of New Mexico for the National Endowment for the Arts, taken or made as part of that person's official duties and is a work of the U.S. federal government.

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