Power of the storm

Trading post owner promotes weaving, weavers and their stories

Special to the Times | Stacy Thacker
Visitors look at rugs in the “Eye on the Storm” exhibit during the grand opening on Saturday, June 16, at Toadlena Trading Post in Toadlena, N.M. The gallery features Navajo storm pattern rugs.

By Stacy Thacker
Special to the Times

TOADLENA, N.M.

The power of the storm pattern brought a steady rain to the Toadlena area Saturday as out-of-town visitors and community members gathered to celebrate the pattern and the weavers who created it.

Mark Winter, owner of the Toadlena Trading Post, debuted a collection of Navajo storm pattern rugs to over 200 people. Many came from the community and surrounding areas while others traveled from Connecticut, California, Oregon and Texas to see the exhibit and meet actor Wes Studi, who played for the event with his band. Studi, a long-time friend of Winter’s, has been coming every year since the second event, and said it’s one of his favorite events to attend.

It was the 11th show for Winter, who changes the theme of the rug museum every two years. “It’s one thing we do to promote the weavers and the whole Navajo weaving traditions,” he said. The exhibit, “Eye on the Storm,” featured rugs with different depictions of hogans in the center of the rugs.

Connected to those hogans were jagged lines representing lightning. The lightning bursts from the center of the rug and connects to the four corners, said to represent the four sacred mountains. Included in the patterns are waterbugs. The storm pattern comes from Navajo mythology and has many variations, Winter said. Winter, originally from California, became interested in storm pattern rugs after he purchased his first in 1971.


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Categories: Culture