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Louise Reed
Louise Reed

Yá’át’ééh! My Clan is Near Water. I was born for Black Sheep Clan. My name is Louise Reed. I live near Tsaile on the Navajo Reservation.

I did not attend school, staying at home instead to learn the traditional ways of my people. In the tradition of Navajo girls, I had a Kinaaldá Ceremony when I reached puberty. The ceremony lasted four days and ended with making the Navajo cake that was baked in the ground. When the cake was finished, it was shared with all the people who were there.

I met my husband when I was 17 years old. My marriage was arranged and I was married off to a person that I did not know. He was a stranger to me. Weaving became even more important to me in my early twenties. That is when I became a single parent and had no one to help me. It was a huge challenge for me to take care of my family. I used my weavings to support myself and my children. One thing that I will always include in my rugs is the spirit line, or pathway, that is visible to the eye.

My family taught me several weaving traditions. There are songs that I sing as I set up my loom and prepare to weave. I believe that a weaver must have positive thoughts whenever they are weaving. Also, one should not eat while at the loom and once a weaver starts putting the warp on the loom they must continue to work until the looming is finished. These traditions were passed down to me through the Navajo Spider Woman story.