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Lydia Chinana

Jemez Pueblo

Transcript of  an Interview conducted 1/10/03 in jemez Pueblo by Dolly Naranjo- Neikrug.

[The interviewers questions and remarks are in red italics.]

Embroidery Artists

Lydia Chinana
Mabel Fragua
Isabel Gonzales
Evelyn Bird Quintana
Romancita Sandoval
Shawn Tafoya

And then for me I have a real shaking problem

Oh yeah, me too. If I don’t eat, I notice my veins are not showing and I start to shake.

Ever since I was about 19, I noticed my hands shake. And after a while I didn’t notice it because it was just part of my character of my life. But if I don’t eat or have sugar, I really get shaky. Or first thing in the morning and I get ready for coffee, and if you’re putting the sugar in the coffee my hands go like that.

I’m not that bad

I’m that bad and people look at me and say, are you nervous? and I say no, I just shake. But it’s my family, my whole family, so I think it’s just part of that.

I notice if we go to town and I don’t eat, I tell my husband, I need to eat.

Ready Jeanne? Okay. Lydia this is going to be really really easy.

Don’t get all nervous!

Could you tell us your name, where you’re from, about your community, your family, just start with that, being from Jemez Pueblo, your family, connections to the pueblo, like that.

So are we on right now?


My name is Lydia Chinana, I’m from Jemez Pueblo. My husband’s name is Raymond Chinana, which he’s from here also, and my four kids, I have four kids, three girls and one boy, and they’re all grown up and they have kids, they live at their own houses. I have six grandkids. And um I’ve been sewing since I’ve been in high school. I took home ec in high school, starting in 9th grade, all the way to senior year. Then I moved to California, where I took seamstress. I learned a lot and stayed out there for about a year. And then my husband wanted to get married, so we got married and after we got married I went back again to finish my schooling. From there I went to El Paso with my husband, he was stationed to there as the military in the army. And then we came back to our reservation and stayed here for a while. He worked in Alb. And then my mother-in-law, which she’s the one who taught me this traditional stuff like kilts, and sash.[?]..and from there I took on this, plus my sewing. And I started doing, just doing a few things. I was working also in Lab and I’d come home and sew. And then I guess I got popular so people started asking me for stuff like the kilts. And then I do a lot of traditional wear like our Indian dresses, ribbon shirts, and baptismal which I embroider. And as you can see in the background where I did all these, were baptismal. And what else?

You know I know that Jemez has a lot of, I always thought it was Chinana, but it’s Chinana. Is that a Jemez word?

Um. Not that I don’t think it is I don’t know how it came about. You know, I just got into Chinana, I wasn’t I married into it. I don’t know what the wording means.

I just wonder because there are a lot of people with that last name, and also with Pecos.

With Pecos, they came from Pecos. I don’t know where they got the name. Where they used to live in Pecos, those are the Pecos people who live here now. That’s all I know about the Pecos.

You mentioned your mother-in-law taught you the traditional work. Did your mother or grandmother?

Well, my mom, I never knew my mom because as I was small, she used to be an alcoholic, and she left us with my aunt, and my aunt raised us. My mom lived in Arizona and I didn’t get to know her. My father was an Anglo, so I’m half Jemez and half Anglo. But then I consider myself a full-blooded Jemez because I was raised here. And my dad was in the military in the air force and he died when I was just a baby, so I didn’t get to know him either. but my aunt and my grandpa are the ones who raised me up. So that’s how I stayed here in jemez. If they wouldn’t have picked me up, I might have ended up somewhere else so I’ m grateful they raised me up. So that’s how I got to learn all this traditional stuff.

My mother-in-law was with the, what did they call it? The home enrichment program which used to be with Sandoval, and they used to teach the ladies all this stuff that was traditional wear like, so that’s why I got to go to her classes and learn all this stuff. I stayed here a long time learning how to make these because it’s not everybody who knows how to do this. And I think I was really blessed to where I can do all this. Even people from here tell me that I do good work. I feel real blessed because you know when I make something like this an I see them wearing it in the plaza, it just makes me feel real good, because that’s something that I made that they’re wearing.

I don’t look for the money, I just like helping people out because you know I don’t know how far I’ll be going, you know, if I like finish this for this person, and you know, yeah money is money, you can buy whatever you want to, but it can only go so far. This, you know, they have this for life, you know it just keeps on, the tradition keeps on going to the grandkids. Even tho I’m gone they’ll have something that they’ll think of me as, that’s what I look at, you know. You know people tell me, you know, oh you’re making good money. But you know, I don’t look at the money. It’s just, even my kids say you just charged them just that much. But you know maybe I’ll be blessed in some way, but you know to think of money as, I don’t really mind. Like for these ones, some people sell them for really expensive. But I keep it at a price so people can afford it. You know everybody’s not rich, you have to think that way. So that’s the way I look at it when I make my stuff.

We can stop. That’s really nice, the way you think about it. And there must be a real pride when you’re watching the dances and see your pieces dancing by. And when you see them, can you always recognize your pieces?

Yeah! Cuz on my kilts I have a certain design that I put on the side, it’s just a little design, and I tell my kids if you make a kilt or something always put this design on it because this is my symbol that I made that. So when you see the dances, mom see you made that one and that one you know like we already know the ones that we do. That’s only the kilts, you know, but these ones I know which ones I made because there’s only so many you can make you know of these ones here. But kilts and the other stuff you can recognize what you make. like the shirts and stuff like that I can tell which ones are mine.

Sure. Um. And I think that you already answered this, but when you were saying, I was going to ask why do you embroider? Why do you enjoy doing it so much?

You know some people ask me, don’t you get tired of sewing? You know I don’t feel comfortable anymore just sitting. I have to be doing something, you know, it’s just something you know I don’t know, that I have to do. And my kids say, why don’t you just sit, at least you know for a while. And sometimes they’ll see me just sitting, and they’ll say oh mom you’re just sitting there. And you know I’m just taking a little break or something. Because you know for like our feasts in August, before that I’ll have so many dresses, that I you know it’ll be about 30 or so many that I have to get them done. And after the feast I’ll sit down for like you know one day, and then after that I start all over again. It’s just a never ending thing, you know, there’s always something like now I’ve got this baptismal, this weekend, and then the San I, and then, like there’s always something. And like this lady called today who wanted another one like this and I said I have two other orders, and she said can I get it done by March or April. And I said I’ll try you know but I don’t guarantee them that I’ll have it done, I just say I’ll try because this is really time-consuming.

How long does a manta take you?

these ones? It depends, if that person like I say wants it for a certain month I’ll keep working on it. But it usually takes me about a year, this one is taking me about a year. And like I told that guy I’m for sure going to get it done this year, because I can’t keep telling them that...because I feel bad when I can’t get it done and they keep bugging me about it and I feel bad if I don’t.

and how long does a kilt take you?

A kilt normally takes me about a week. If I just keep working on it. But you know it’s not hard to do the kilt type but that braid that goes on the bottom you have to weave that one also.

Do you finger weave it?

I used to finger weave it. It takes more time and I don’t have the time, so I use a loom to do it now. you know it takes me a day or two to do it on a loom. If I don’t have the time, I usually ask my aunt to do it for me. Because you know she does, she works, but if she wants a dress made, you know, we trade, you know instead of you know cash, why don’t you just make me a dress? you know, and it’s better than...

And Lydia do you think that, any of your daughters/

Oh they all do. They all do. The oldest on is more into the sashbelts and the kilts. And the second one, I get her to do one like I’ll tell her can you do the black part for me because that even takes time on the kilt she says oh yeah I’ll do it. And she’ll sit there barely going. And it’ll take her a whole week just to do the edges. She is so slow. She’s not the type to be doing this. But I try to encourage her to do, one time I told her to do a kilt too, and she did the whole thing, I think she was half-way, and then she went in and looked at it, and she was doing the bottom...her design was on the bottom instead of going up like this. And I said Oh Mona! And she had to rip the whole thing out. I felt so bad. But there’s no way out, she couldn’t get out of it. She ripped the whole thing out, and started doing it again.

that’s real discouraging .I’ve been working on a manta for over a year, and I only have the bottom you know the very bottom portion. It’s very item consuming.

Some people don’t realize that. I teach classes to also, if they tell me to, if they ask me to do a class, like in summertime, the embroidery, so I’ve done the embroidery, the kilts and the sashbelt. And when I charge people for the embroidery for the dresses, the bottom and the sleeves, people say gosh that’s expensive, but now they realize, it takes an hour to do about two inches of embroidery. And you know I tell them you know it’s a lot of work, but they don’t realize that until when they do it themselves, then they know how time consuming it is just to do that little portion. But some people say, it’s really expensive you know, and that’s the only thing that I don’t like about people saying that. I didn’t tell them to come here to you know they come themselves, and say they want certain items and I charge them a certain amount. Which mine is more, less than what other people would charge them. And every time I have a class I say, now you know how hard it is to do this I tell them. And they know, they realize, once they do the class then they know.

It is extremely time-consuming. And when you do your classes, and you’re looking at your student’s work. I know you don’t want to make judgments, but what factors do you consider, what do you tell your students that is important for a good piece of embroidery.

Well like I tell them, like with my youngest one, and I taught her, you know, if she makes a mistake, I mean she’ll say, Mom I made a mistake and I don’t know where it is at. And then I’ll go back, and I’ll find it right away, and say you made a mistake right here, and say you have to rip that whole thing off, and she used to get really frustrated. But now she’ll know herself that she made a mistake, and I’ll say, just leave it, you know you really can’t see it, I tell her, and she’ll say no, it don’t’ look right, so she’ll rip the whole thing off. So she’s gotten to that point where she knows, it just don’t look right. And I tell my students the same thing, that I taught my daughter that way, and if you want it to look good, you have to rip it. Even the sashbelt, those are really hard too, like that first part on the bottom, there’s a step that you go through ,and if you don’t get that step right it will not go on looking good. So I tell them there’s no way you can keep going, you have to rip it all the way back to here. And they you know, they have to do it. I do neat work I don’t do sloppy work. I have to tell them, if they didn’t do it right, they have to...even me too, if I make a mistake back here and I’m already over here, and it’s not coming out, I’ll take the whole thing out again. It’s something you just have to learn that way, if you don’t it just doesn’t look good. And I’ll tell my daughter too.

and what about, do you have your own patterns that you use, and your own colors?

Yes. some of them they put in a different color like a red, a maroon. And I’ll tell them that’s not a traditional color. That’s the only thing I do it, and if they want something like this I tell them I use the traditional, I do not like the other colors or a different style. And they even agree that way. Like with this one here, we are in different clans, he is a corn clan, so he wants a corn put in on these diamonds here, if they want to request something like that then I’ll do it. But other than that if they just say they want this, then I’ll give them I have about 3 different designs that I have, and they’ll say it’s up to you, just make this. Or they’ll say they like this one and make this one and I’ll say okay.

And the sashbelts are all the same, so you know that one they there’s a white one for men and I make a little narrow one for little boys and that’s the only difference on that one. so it’s not really... And for the kilts, we’ve come up with different designs, but there are certain steps that you have to go through also.

And what do you usually put in your diamonds, if it was just your choice?

This little step, like they’ll be in different colors. This one is just the traditional, in the black and green. But this here you can put in any color you want, yellow or blue. It will stand out, but I don’t like to use too many colors. That’s about it. If it’s a bigger diamond, this is a little diamond, there’s another pattern also it’s a bigger diamond and it takes more colors in there, but this one it won’t take that many. So it all depends on how big your diamond is.

and do you do butterfly or cloud design?


It’s beautiful. Really beautiful. I saw that you were doing the...

Yeah, the other embroidery. It’s for the dresses I make. That one is the eidlecloth, it’s not the monks cloth that we use for our traditional wear. It’s the eidlecloth that we get from Joanne’s or..and I use the three-ply on those ones. On those, I tell them to take them to the dry cleaners.

These ones we have to wash by hand for this one, I always spin my yarn, wet it, and dry it out before I even start sewing.

Why do you do that?

If you don’t, after you spin it, and if you don’t wet it, it’ll just curl up. You know, your yarn just curls up. And if you wet it, well first, I put it on those cake racks, I put it on there and then I wet it with hot water and let it dry out. And then it stays like this, if you don’t it just spins and it’s hard to sew that way.

Is that four ply? You leave it in the four play?


And this is the three ply?


Where do you get your materials?

Bernalillo. This lady who used to have that Central Y in Bernalillo. She used to sell this monks cloth, the shawls, and all that traditional stuff that we used to buy. I think she closed that shop now, she sells from her own house. I just call her up and tell her how many yards I want, and she just cuts it off. And I just go up there...

And you have a source. I know some of the other embroiderers have a real problem getting monks cloth.

Yeah. And she’s a little cheaper than these other people. There’s this other lady in Bernallilo that this lady sells and hers is a little higher than this one here. And in Santa Fe, at Bonanza City, they have it there also.

And sometimes they run out. Do you use wool?

No acrylic.

Some say they just use wool, and others just acrylic, and I just wondered what you used. And you find acrylic works well for you?

well, wool is good took, but it’s more expensive, and it’s hard to like, here in Alb, they have these yarn places where they sell them, but I just, since I’ve been started sewing and my mother-in-law teaching me, that’s the only thing that I started off with, that Red Heart yarn, and that’s the only thing I use. It’s not really all that much different I don’t think.

What percentage of the things you make goes to collectors and what percentage goes to traditional use?

Almost all traditional. I don’t really go to all these other places, you know., I get more orders from our tribe here because they’re always, like we had an initiation here in November and people just started coming or calling me, do you have a kilt? they think that I have stacks and stacks of kilts and sashbelts, like when you go to a store just ready to like, they’re all stacked up. I got an order for these many and I still have to do all this. I don’t even have time to have stacks. It’s always somebody who wants one, like this just the other day this lady called and said do you have a sashbelt. And I said no, the only time I do them is when they’re ordered. But other than that I just don’t have time to do them on my own.

I think that’s a real problem with embroiderers, that people have real misconceptions about how much stuff they can make or how much time things take. It is so time consuming, and I don’t think you could ever earn the amount of money for the time you put in to these.

Like I said earlier, I don’t think of the money, it’s the thought of people wanting stuff that you can’t keep up with. Like my daughter, I tell her I say, can you make this kilt for this one person, I can’t do this and then make that. And then she’ll help me out, she’ll make a kilt if I ask her. But she’s getting to the point where they’re knowing that she does this too, so they’ll call her instead of me.

That’s nice. I have two kids. Both of them are potters now. Of course growing up at Santa Clara, you have to make pottery. So both of my kids are potters. and my older daughter really makes good looking pottery. My son is starting to make a living. But it makes me feel really good, I feel like I gave them, in that way, do you feel the same way about your daughters?

Oh yes. My younger one she is really fast at it now. And I always tell her now, I say, can you do this one now? You’re faster than I am now. and she’ll feel good that I said that to her. Now she has two kids and it’s getting the point where she doesn’t have time to do this. But I always like say if you need money, you can do this one, I tell her.

Yeah, that must be really nice. And is your grandmother still alive?

No. I never knew my grandmother on this side. I had a grandma on my dad’s side who was in Vermont and I never got to know that family as to where I met them. They would write and like that but it was too far for me to even go out there to see them.

I’m sorry, you said your aunt and your grand father? And is your aunt still alive?

Yes. She’s alive and she does embroidery also, but when I was living there yet she never used to do this stuff. I don’t know how she got into it, she just started doing it. But she never taught me how to do this, it was my mil who taught me, that’s where I got it from.

Do you dance? and in your own things?

Umhmm. The sets, I always make a dress for myself you know, even though I have so many things, I say, this dress is for me. This August, I made a dress for myself. “Mom! You made a dress for yourself?!” you know ‘cuz I don’t even have time, I have three grand daughters and they always dance too and my daughter will buy material, and that one time, August I think, she bought material. and we had time to make it, “I’ll make time,” I told her. And I had all these orders, you know I had about like I say thirty is the most I had. I have to have a limit, cuz people will be calling me even the day before and say can you make me a dress? And I say no I say I have these many to do yet. So that August, that day before or two days before, I cut them out, my grand daughters dresses. And my daughter came in and said Mom, don’t sew these for them if you don’t have the time. And I said, I am going to sew them. And said, so I had them ready out. She comes in and says Mom, I’m going to take these. I’m going to hide them. You’re not going to sew them. You already have enough.[great smile here] And said, you better not! I told her. So she hid them somewhere, and I said you better bring those back. So finally she brought them back, and I did sew them. They get, you know, some way, you know how kids are, they say grandma didn’t sew my dress, or you know she’s not going to sew it, she’s too busy. Or the middle one, she’ll say Mom she doesn’t have to sew my dress, I still have this other one, you know, they feel sorry for me. But then you know I feel bad because I don’t take the time to do it for them. So then this November again she did the same thing again. So I didn’t sew them. I cut them out and she hid them again, so I didn’t sew them. So after the feast right away, I sewed them right away, so they now they have them ready so I don’t have to be doing them at the last minute. It always happens, it just, I hate to do that, but it just never fails, it always happens.

And what are your major feast days?

August 2 and Nov. 12. The August one is the Pecos people, where they bring out the Pecos bull. And November is the big one for the pueblo here, the Guadalupe.

We came up for the November one. We were here.

I was dancing that day.

I bet we saw you.

Yeah. probably.

But we came just to kind of look around, we haven’t been to Jemez very much, because we are on the other side, it’s hard to get over here.

Yeah, same for me. I like, I went to your feast two or three years ago I think it was. My god daughter was dancing, so I wanted to go for sure. They were imitating their dance, the day school kids? One of my grand daughters danced for that, it was really nice, I really enjoyed that. That’s not Alicia, I said, they looked so nice, the way they were dressed you know they were wearing, the one that I made too, she was wearing, I had made the scarf for her, you know, the red scarf, it was nice. In fact they danced in the Plaza, that I think that day after Christmas, the Sunday, they danced in the Plaza also. It was really nice.

Oh how nice, and it was the corn dance?

Yeah, oh they call it the corn dance, right?


somebody was asking me, what do they call that? I think it’s the corn dance, because they had corn with them.

If it was the harvest dance, they’d be wearing the black, but if it’s the corn dance, they’d wear the white, at home they wear the white.

It was really nice. It was the first time I ever saw that dance.

Oh now that you know me, you can come. on feast day. We live right in a little, my mom’s house is right in the middle of the pueblo. You know how there’s a kiva right in the middle? The kiva steps come down and point right to the south, and point right to my mom’s house.

Oh really?

Yeah. so you’ll have to come over.

Oh. Yeah, We didn’t know anybody, so coming home we had to stop in Los Alamos to the Taco Bell or whatever.

Yeah, that’s what happened to us when we came up on Jemez day, see we hadn’t really started the interviews yet so we didn’t know anybody, but it was nice, a beautiful day, we bought food, and then we looked at all of the vendors. It was really pretty. But anyway, next time you come to Santa Clara...

And you, when you come here, you have to come here for sure.

I think that’s all the questions I had. You just state things so beautifully.

Well, like I said, I state my things, what I do, it’s not just for fun, I enjoy doing it. some people say, don’t you get headaches? Or...even just going to town, I can’t just sit, I have to be doing something, I cannot just sit, I have to be sewing something. If I don’t have something to sew and I’m going, I say, I’m so bored, you know, I have to be doing something. Like I took this one with me too, last weekend that I went to town thinking I would finish it. But we went in the truck, and that truck is so bumpy. I tried to count, and then I say o shoot, and I start counting again. And I say that one thing about this truck I do not like. And also going to when we go see my son in Arizona, I have to take something. I cannot just...that last time before the feast, I had to do the embroidery. So I took you know one going, and I finished one going and finished another on the way back. Cuz that 8 hour drive is a long one.

Do you do other stitches besides the pueblo stitch?

I do the embroidery and I do vests, in fact this one guy wanted a certain vest, he wanted feathers on the side, he was wearing that I think on the 6th, but it’s so pretty and you look at it and you say did I do that? I think my daughter did it, but he ordered it from me...

And you think I must have done that!

And the feathers look so nice, it was two feathers going down like on the front, the design on here, and then the back. It looked so nice, it was a white vest and it really looked nice.

And do you do cross stitch?

Yeah. Well cross stitch I really haven’t been doing that much. It, one, apron I had it was the deers, there’s two deers and the book on the side, and the big tree on the middle, it took me like, I’d do it for a while, it’s that small block thing, it took me forever just to do that one and it was the last one I did. I don’t do much cross stitch anymore. Unless, like this summer I did for the mission, they have a recreation thing in the evening, if they asked me to do something like that I’ll do cross stitch, teach them stuff like that that’s the only time I’ll do stuff like that. But I teach a lot of kids you know in the summertime and whenever they asked me to. And then I have, it’s called uh...if people have disability, they help them out and they want to learn how to sew, so I taught this one lady how to do sashbelts, and they come into the house and I just have them all day or certain hours, they come in. And I do that also.

Can we hold up your manta?

I did one, it was twice as big as this one here. for the it’s the horse that they have that comes out

I saw that!


It was huge and I thought it was so beautiful.

But that was especially made for that horse, and they put that on every time. On the other side there’s a pumpkin and a turquoise horse. The turquoise one they had a one, and then they had another one. which you know they wanted one that would go all the way around, not to make it look really different so that’s why they asked for that.

I’m a pumpkin. And the other ones are the turquoise. When you marry into a pumpkin, you have to become a pumpkin. But if you’re a turquoise if I was a turquoise, and I married a pumpkin, I’d have to become a pumpkin. But I was already a pumpkin.

this is gorgeous. I want to show the backside. How do you finish off the threads. Like these threads you haven’t put in yet, How do you finish them off, because all of this if finished.

This one goes under, and then I clip them off afterwards which I already did on these ones, and on these ones I’ve just barely got them done so they’re not done yet.

So you’ll just clip them and they’ll stay? That’s gorgeous.

The little girl who came in, she took a dress, do you have others we can see?

[to other room]

This is the wedding dress that they ordered. This is the dress, then that’s the shirt for the guy.

This is the guy’s shirt? Oh my goodness.

That’s embroidered, too. Like I teach a lot of these embroiderers. This is student that I taught, she did the embroidery but she wanted the dress made so I made the whole dress for her.

that’s gorgeous. I want to hold it up. This is the guy’s shirt, and this is the wedding gown.

So I do a lot of wedding stuff too, they like the embroidery. I do a lot of ribbon shirts, too, and the vests.

Can we show this too? Oh my goodness

and this is a sashbelt that I’m trying to finish it too.

So this is all embroidery.

This is all embroidery. It’s the backstitch that makes the loop. I think I did one for the School also, it’s probably there.

When you say backstitch, what does that mean?

You go under here and you come back out again, and it makes that loop. This is the one I was talking about earlier that a lot of students have trouble just doing this part here, because it’s really tricky. You get this part done here and then you start doing this part here, you have to be at a certain place when you start it, you just don’t make that loop until you get to the next step So this is the really tricky part here. Other than that, this is much easier.

That’s beautiful. And is that for anything in particular, or just something you wanted to make?

No it’s an order also. I have to get done too. I’ve got it mostly all done I just have to do the red.

but then you have to do the other section

I already have the other part. But I have to do the red part here, and then connect them.

I love your room. I just love this room.

It’s getting tinier with everything that I bring in here. I need a separate place...I have my other cutting room in here....

[to other room, inaudible]

All this is a dress, and then an apron that goes with it. That’s gorgeous.

Here’s another embroidered shirt. And people ask for different things, like this one likes the broncos, so I made a vest that they haven’t picked up yet.

That’s so neat. And then the ribbon colors are orange and white. That’s fabulous. I’m going to turn it to the back.

And then little girlie precious. You sew beautifully.

You said you went to California? Did you go to California to go to school?

Yes, as a seamstress. Also that’s how I learned to do the sewing on the machines. Like I did my own formal, they teach you to make your own patterns, you measure yourself, and then you make the patterns. And then after you make patterns they tell you to pick out a dress you want to make. So it’s a formal I wanted to make, and I picked out my own material, I did the whole thing, we had a fashion show, and that’s the end of the whole schooling, once you did the whole formal, you go to a fashion show and show off what you did.

And you knew your husband before you went.

Oh, no I knew him in high school, and then he went to the military, he went to Viet Nam, so he was out there, and I was out in CA and he came back and he was stationed in El Paso, and that’s when he got serious, and he wanted to get married. So that’s how I got married.

So you came home to get married and....

Yeah, and we went our separate ways, he went back to El Paso and I went back to school. And then he got so lonely he wanted me back, that’s why we went back to El Paso, and we were out there for a while. Then I got back home, and that’s when I started doing the sewing.

That’s great.

You stepped on what’s his name [filmmaker stepped on a toy].


You’d drive a little bit more...and you say, give me a left arm, or give me a head...

This is a dress I was going to make for one of the girls from San I, she wanted this one in the middle, this is her dress so I have to make this one for her. I’ll start on it this weekend I guess.

You’re so busy! Thank you so much for letting us come down here.



A stitch on the back also.

And how do you count?

It’s 8, and then you go back and then come back on the other side, and then you have even. You always have to end up your eight here, and then coming back you do the middle part, and that’s how you get all that on the back. That day when he said he was in a hurry to get it, I was making more mistakes on it. Like I said I don’t like to rush on stuff and if I do it seems like I make more mistakes. That’s what I don’t like about rushing.

So you do eight, and then you come back, and it comes out to four then?

Yes. And you’ll notice I’m a lefty also. some people don’t notice that but they say that lefties are intelligent. Have you heard that?

I’ve heard that! And I believe that.

Have you heard that almost all the Presidents are lefties? You never noticed that. Jimmy Carter was a lefty.

and Clifton too. That’s neat. So because of how you process your thread, it doesn’t seem to bunch up...

If you spin it to where it’s really really tight it does sometimes do that even if you wet it, it’ll curl up but if you....I have a spinner I don’t know if you notice in my sewing room that you press off instead of ...I used to do hurts right here when you’re doing it for a certain time. I used to get my husband do it for me sometimes, but now that I have that spinner it’s much easier. It takes me like about an hour to do the big yarns.

wow that’s a long time. Do you do more than one at a time?

No just one. If I need all the three colors, I’ll do all of them, but if I need just one, it’s much lesser time than to where you have to do it by hand.

And do you, do you share your patterns with people?

Yeah. You know some people are so stingy with what they have, I always say, you’re not taking it with you? Why be so stingy with something? I mean, like if somebody borrows something and they’ll take the design, I do that too, if somebody like you know brings something, a pattern, they make their own design and they just want a shirt made, I’ll pick the pattern out, because we all do that, it’s almost the same, this one is almost the same. I have one, just one, that design is so hard to do I sold it to this lady, and I said that’s the first and last one I do of that. It was really hard. I took a picture of it but it’s the last one I did. I take pictures of a lot of the stuff I do.

Yeah, you know people feel real differently about their patterns, some people don’t like to share they’re designs and other people don’t mind. I kind of feel like you do. I feel like these are traditional designs and patterns and if you look at something and you copy it, what difference does it make? Like, we’re all the same people anyway.

Like I’ll change something if, like this part I’ll take and from another one I’ll take this one, and put them together.

But the kilts you can also change the designs, but you have the, tears, the rain drops and the mountain design, and what else goes on there.

The thunder in the middle. The thunder is always in the middle, and then you have the steps on the side, and the rain. Those are always the same, you can’t change. Or you can change the design of whatever you want, but that’s just the way it’s on there.

That’s terrific. This has just been a wonderful wonderful time with you. thank you.

So are you getting all the ladies that are the embroiderers?

Trying to. Like we were saying, the one lady passed away.

And then the one lady who wasn’t in it, was she’s been in it for a long time too, but she died this year too. Josephine Loretto? I don’t know why she wasn’t notified, because she’s the one who taught her daughter, Mable...oh Fraua, that’s her mom. She was the one who taught her how to do it, and I don’t know why they didn’t.....Phyllis hasn’t been doing it that long, she’s barely like in her fifth year that she’s been doing it. Her thing is doing pottery. Some of them are in to pottery, and this like sometime I’ll teach a person how to do this, but they’re first priority is doing pottery so they won’t keep up with doing this, so there’s different things that they do, and this like sometime I’ll teach a person how to do this, but they’re first priority is doing pottery so they won’t keep up with doing this, so there’s different things that they do.

Yeah, like I wasn’t at the School when they did this, so I didn’t know people. I think probably the only person I kind of knew was Ramoncita at San Juan. But even Evelyn of San Juan, I didn’t know her.

This one lady came out August 2nd, she’s from Ohio, and she asked me to do a dress for her. and she said she asked Ramoncita to do the bottom part of this for her, the dress here. I made the vest for him, and I made this for the altar, and I also made her another dress, with the sleeves embroidered on the bottom. And she was really all excited. I made ribbon dresses, how many did I make her? I think 5 or 6, and the men’s shirts, the ribbon shirts. She was all excited. I didn’t see the ladies or anything, and I had to go by what she said about the size they were, and I had to send them out to here and she came out after they got married. He was interpreter, not interpreter, yah, interpreter of the Hopi language in a book he did....

Is his name, Emory?

No his name is John, what’s they’re last name? I guess he was out there for the longest time, doing interpreting.

So they’re not Indian?

No. But she wanted to get married like that.

That’s a gorgeous dress. I can see that you have that fashion background, that’s beautiful. I don’t know how you did that, but it’s just striking.

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