LEEDS — The Silver Reef Museum in Leeds invites the public to learn about the Navajo culture, mythology and art as presenter John Rich Jr. delves into the beauty and intricacies of Navajo rugs Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 1-3 p.m. in the historic Cosmopolitan Building.
Rich said that a glimpse into a Navajo life will show a parallel trail between their art, memories of a traditional lifestyle, Native American symbolism and the unique beauty of their homeland. Navajos have fond memories of sitting beside and watching their mothers, aunts and grandmothers clean, card and spin wool to weave into magnificent textiles. They watched their fathers, uncles and grandfathers turn sheets of silver and chunks of turquoise into objects of beauty. They remember the timelessness of the before-dawn quiet when they rose to pray to the holy people, and they remember watching the yeii bichai dance on a star-filled night.
The Navajo people’s memories and experiences draw them literally and figuratively to their homeland for inspiration, and their arts and crafts are, in turn, expressions of this heritage. America has its deepest cultural roots in the arts of its Natives. Through Rich’s discussion on Saturday, he hopes to open a window and introduce the public to this unique American experience.
Rich has worked to build personal day-to-day relationships with native artists that have developed into a great love for their history, culture and art. As a buyer for over 40 years at the gift shop at Jacob Lake Inn, a family business since 1923, his knowledge comes from a lifetime of dealing with Native American artists as friends, not just suppliers of goods for sale.
Rich’s understanding has translated into a desire to teach others about native culture and art. He has taught in many situations, from small informal groups to guest speaker at the university level. His knowledgeable service, gifted communication and love for the artists will present an enjoyable and informative experience among the native people of the red rock desert.
The lecture is free to attend, but donations are greatly appreciated.
- What: Navajo Rugs presentation by John Rich, Jr.
- When: Saturday, March 26 | 10 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m.
- Where: Silver Reef Museum, Cosmopolitan Building, 1903 Wells Fargo Road, Leeds
- Cost: Free, donations are greatly appreciated
- Reserve your spot: Online | Telephone: 435-879-2254
- Silver Reef Museum: Website | Telephone: 435-216-2651
- More about John Rich Jr: Jacob Lake Inn (Arizona) Web page