Mariah Claw is a Diné woman from Lukachukai, Arizona; a small community at the base of the Chuska mountains in the Four Corners Region of the Navajo Nation, speckled with dense sagebrush and deep green pinon trees, where the air smells of sweet earth and mesas blush red under the light of the sun. She grew up in the slightly larger town of Chinle, Arizona, playing in cornfields, canyons, and on ball fields with her siblings, cousins, and friends.
Mariah graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a BA in Sociocultural Anthropology and a minor in Sociology. In 2020, she earned her MA in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her academic interests included Critical Indigenous Theory, Indigenous methodology, Indigenous education, Indigenous futurity, auto-ethnography, oral history, discourse analysis, material arts and culture, community-based research, participatory action research, and collaborative research.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mariah took up weaving and has been broadening her knowledge about textile artistry from master Diné weavers and Zapotec weavers and natural dye experts. Weaving and natural dyeing practices have existed in Mariah's family for generations. She has been reclaiming these practices by picking up her grandmothers’ weaving tools and using them to create pieces that reflect the world around her. Weaving is a critical tool for protecting and preserving cultural knowledge. Mariah's experiences have inspired her to further her skills as a weaver to become a teacher for young weavers in her community.