“We want to include guy weavers (Larry Yazzie’s ‘Blue Canyon Transition’ and Jason Harvey’s Storm Pattern rug) because there are Navajo weavers of all kinds, not just women. There have always been men weavers, even though there’s been a taboo about them weaving.
“When my dad was working at Two Grey Hills trading post, we had many guys come in with their rugs, but they refused to put their name on their rugs because of the stigma. My dad used to put on their mom’s, their sister’s or their wife’s name. These were great weavers.
“I taught my son how to weave because it is his birthright and he should know. He should be able to pass it on to his kids, because it’s something important to me and my grandmother and my great grandmother. Just because he was born a man doesn’t mean that it’s not his to learn.
“There have been a couple times where people have said to Michael, ‘But you’re a guy,’ and he’ll say, ‘No, I’m a weaver.’ It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. If you’re a weaver, you should be recognized as one.” —Barbara Ornelas
“I never felt that stigma of ‘A male weaver, ooh, you’re not supposed to do that.’ I grew up with my mom and my sister weaving. My dad is encouraging—he never put me down or talked negatively. He always talked about the positives and said things like ‘Good job’ and ‘It’s good to see you weaving—it makes me proud.’ My friends say, ‘That’s cool,’ and then we’ll go do something else.” —Michael Ornelas
“It’s a natural thing for them to see Michael working. He has his loom next to the big TV and he’ll weave for a while, and then he’ll play video games, and then he’ll come back to weaving. So, sometimes he’ll sit there weaving with his friends playing video games.” —Barbara Ornelas