Dairy Arts Center

Weaving Prayers: Ocean’s Edge to Mesa’s Ledge | Roberta Begaye

Bitterwater Galerie Presents:

Weaving Prayers: Ocean's Edge to Mesa's Ledge

Roberta Begaye

June 14th – September 8th, 2024

A journey of culture, prayers and hope for my people back home on the Navajo Reservation. I am of two Water Clans: Bitterwater and Zuni-Edgewater. Water is one of the four sacred elements and is essential for all living beings on earth. When the land is in need of rain and moisture, the offering to the water is made to call upon the Holy People of the rain and thunder. I am not a medicine person but my grandparents before me were, unfortunately the knowledge of healing songs and prayers have passed with them. But when our people call upon the Water Clans to pray for rain and moisture, I do the best that I can in the faith of my traditional upbringing. I submerge myself in the river or ocean and I paint my prayers.

About the Artist:

Diné (Navajo)
I am the Bitterwater clan, To’di’ch’ii’nii.
I am born for the Zuni-Edgewater clan, Naasht’e’zhi Ta’baaha’.
Maternal grandparents: Towering House clans, Kiyaa’a’anii.
Paternal grandparents: Bitterwater clans, To’di’ch’ii’nii.
Roberta is a self-taught artist who hails from the Navajo Nation, born in Fort Defiance, Arizona and raised in Kayenta, Arizona; with a 26 year career in Fire/EMS. She is a descendent of medicine people and traditional rug weavers, both maternal and paternal grand and great-grandparents.
Inspired by her grandmother’s Wide Ruins textile patterns, she also creates imagery with that classic geometry to honor her. Woven together, her Diné traditional and cultural upbringing is brought to life with her brushes. Roberta’s grandmother continues to weave, as she continues to paint. She has also created an organization, Compassion Uprising, that embodies the spirit of her grandmother’s teachings and love.
Roberta of Bitterwater Galerie houses her brushes and pigments in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
She weaves paintings textured with poetry…
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MARCH 2020

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