We Walk in Beauty

Elvira Horseherder, Navajo

Elvira Horseherder

Do you have a specific memory that stands out in your mind when you were young?
"I was seven years old when my late grandmother asked me to help her with her sheep. She told me the importance of learning to weave as a Navajo woman. The tools that you have to use, the gift you use. I believe that weaving was a gift and the sheep are very important, not only for weaving, but for survival in life. I was taught this as a child."

How is your life different from your parents or grandparents?
"In our culture, we are taught the same as our generation, from mother to mother. Our tradition is mainly about teaching your children the same skills you were taught. In a way, I'm not different from my parents or grandparents. The only difference is now we live in a more modern age. We are taught to never forget where you came from, and who you were chosen to be as a human."

What traditions from the past do you still continue to practice?
"We still practice ceremonies, herding sheep, weaving Navajo rugs, teaching our children what is important. Stories are told, about life, plants, the sky, the sun, all human kind and a consideration for others. There are all different types of ceremonies, some for illness, the Earth, the Sky, the Snow, the Summer, and the Plants. There are also reasons for weaving, reasons for happiness, for healing and for all the features of the environment."

What was your impression on having your photograph taken?
"I was inspired to have my photo taken because I'm a weaver, a mother, a grandmother and a traditional Navajo woman. I hope this photo will teach more people about the gifts they are given. The skills and tools they use to accomplish their destination in life."

What do you see for the future?
"I'm concerned that all human kind does not consume the future. There are not people thankful for the land anymore. But I pray for the land, earth, and the ground we walk on. We need to pray for water and snow. There will be happiness as long as we pray and the future will bring happiness and hope."

Navajo Weavers Elvira Horseherder Four Generations (Ruth Benally, Angela Cody, Elvira Horseherder and Autasha Cody)

Given name: Elvira Horseherder
Date of birth: November 11, 1949
Place of birth: Big Mountain in Hogan
Tribe: Dine
Maternal clan: Mexican Clan
Paternal clan: Edge of Water Clan
Years photographs were taken: 2002, 2003