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Ruth Benally
Ruth Benally

Yá’át’ééh! I am Ruth Benally and I live in Big Mountain, Arizona. I was born to the Naakai diné clan. Growing up, I did not attend school, staying at home to learn the traditional ways of my people.

I learned to be a medicine woman from my father. He said, “Keep weaving to support your family and they will not go hungry.” I started weaving when I was a small girl, using my sheep wool. I learned to weave from my mother and aunties because that was a way of life to survive. I traded my rugs for food at the trading post.

I resisted moving away from my ancestor’s land when the U.S. government gave my land to another tribe. I remained on my land even when it was disputed land. I resisted for 48 years. And to this day I am still resisting. I am 98 years old and getting to be one the oldest Navajos living.

Thank you everybody for buying my rugs. I appreciate the Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program. It helped me to become this old.