TahNibaa Naataanii

"Tradition entails creating something novel with what is inherited."


TahNibaa Naataanii, a Navajo weaver and sheepherder, keeps alive the traditional practices of wool preparation from start to finish. She raises Navajo Churro sheep, sheers them, washes the wool, and processes it before spinning and dyeing the wool for her art. Naataanii acknowledges that Native artists should both preserve their peoples’ traditions and keep them alive through innovation.

“Being traditional can mean retaining transmitted notions while simultaneously producing something new. Tradition entails creating something novel with what is inherited.” - TahNibaa Naataanii

Dr. Robert Hill, Professor Emeritus of the University of Georgia, nominated Tahnibaa for the CSA.

“Tahnibaa stands out as a quintessential model of someone who carries, and thus diffuses, cultural values and traits. She is a community animator, art-practitioner, and cultural ambassador.” - Dr. Robert Hill

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