Postcard from Nancy & Peter

Crownpoint Rug Auction

Crownpoint, NM
June 2001

Dear Jake & Amelia,
We pulled into the Crownpoint Elementary School and parked with the other trucks. The pickup beside us had a white goat tethered in the back. We had fallen in love with Navaho weaving and were here for the Crownpoint rug auction, held monthly in the cafeteria of the elementary school.

Weavers from across the Reservation had traveled to Crownpoint. They waited, holding their rugs in their arms. As each rug was checked in, the weaver would unwrap and unfold it. Forms were filled out. A yellow tag with a number and the weaver's name was stapled to the corner of the rug. Then it was brought to a cafeteria table at the back of the room. 

The rugs pilled up on the tables. More bidders arrived. They looked at the rugs, spreading them out, feeling them, examining them, writing down numbers of the ones they liked. We moved from table to table enjoying the variety of patterns, textures and weaves. When our eyes were dizzy, we bought Navaho tacos from the cafeteria's kitchen. Finally the rugs were folded and brought to the stage. The auction began. Two Anglo auctioneers, lean and tall in their jeans, cowboy boots and hats, spelled each other. One joked and cajoled with the bidders. All the rugs were auctioned off by 9:30 that night.

As we left, weary but fascinated, we bought a piece of fry bread from a 6 foot tall Navaho teenager. She was raising money for a trip to Hawaii with her championship basketball team.

Nancy & Peter


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